EMT accused in juvenile assault

An administrator with the Health Services Authority’s Emergency Medical Services unit was arrested on Friday, 9 May on suspicion of indecent assault on a juvenile male.

The suspect, a 35-year-old Gifford Clayton Harley Prendergast, is not currently working at the HSA, the Caymanian Compass has learned. He was charged with six counts of indecent assault on a male and appeared in Summary Court on Thursday morning, when Magistrate Grace Donalds remanded him in custody until 22 May.

HSA spokesman Caswell Walford released the following statement regarding the arrest: ‘The HSA has become aware of a matter, which is the subject of police investigation, involving an employee of the Authority. As this matter involves the police and may be subject to legal proceedings, the Authority believes it is inappropriate to comment at this time. The Authority’s policies on employee conduct will be applied in any circumstance, which involves charges being brought against an employee.’

Royal Cayman Islands Police spokesperson Deborah Denis said the allegations against the HSA employee related to his conduct involving one juvenile male victim.

Police said Mr. Prendergast has remained in custody since his Friday arrest.

The man had previously worked as an emergency medical technician for the HSA, however in recent years he was moved to an administrative post at the EMS unit.

Crown Counsel Elisabeth Lees said the six charges relate to one boy and cover a period of two years. She objected to bail partly because of concern that Prendergast would interfere in investigations.

Defence Attorney Keva Reid said Prendergast and his family were devastated by the charges.

‘We know this is a small community and he doesn’t have to be convicted by this court in order not to be convicted in the minds of many members of society,’ she said.