Leaving a car on the roadside for five months was littering even if the original intent was not to litter.
That was the conclusion of a trial in Summary Court this week in which Terence Rodman was found guilty. Magistrate Grace Donalds conditionally discharged him but ordered him to pay prosecution costs of $350.
The maximum fine for littering a public place under the 1997 law is $500.
Rodman’s evidence was similar to what he told another magistrate in November – that in January or February 2007 the car’s owner had offered it to him. He wanted his friend Rupert Armstrong to have the car, so they took it to the dykes in West Bay to test it. The car got a flat tyre, so they left the car and took the wheel to get it fixed.
When they returned the car had been vandalised and the other three wheels were gone. Rodman told the court he called two wreckers to remove the car, but they said it had to have wheels so they could pull it onto a flatbed.
Rodman said he did not have the money to buy three new rims and tyres. He said it was not true that he took the car to the Barkers area to dump it.
Questioned by Crown Counsel Richard Barton Jr, Rodman admitted that he did not phone police to report the car had been vandalised. He also accepted that he had not moved the car for the five months, but insisted he was trying his best to get wheels.
A West Bay neighbourhood officer submitted photos of where the car was parked.
Magistrate Grace Donalds said the evidence proved Rodman did leave the car in a public place. He had not established any defence – for example, that he had been authorised by law to leave it there.
She therefore found him guilty, but told him he was discharged for 12 months on the condition that he not re-offend.
Before trial began, Mr. Barton told the court that the co-defendant, Rupert Armstrong, was not on the island. He said he had checked with the Immigration Department and was informed Armstrong had left on 31 March. It appeared his last work permit application had been denied and there was no appeal letter on file.
The littering charge was originally set for trial in February and then for mention in March, when this week’s trial date was set. The magistrate noted that Armstrong was present for the March mention.
Mr. Barton asked for a warrant for Armstrong in the event he did return to Cayman.