Dixon in court

Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Rudolph Dixon appeared in Summary Court yesterday to face charges based on alleged incidents in 2003 and 2004.

‘The allegations have been well known to police hierarchy for many, many years,’ Defence Attorney Michael Alberga told Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale.

Charges of doing an act tending and intending to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in a public office have been laid in connection with each of two incidents.

The first is said to have occurred on 22 June 2003. Mr. Dixon is accused of falsely representing to the chief inspector of the Cayman Brac Police Station that it was the policy of police not to prosecute persons for illegal gambling. The charge continues: without reasonable excuse or justification, he instructed the officer to release two men from lawful custody after they had been arrested and instructed that a quantity of cash and gambling registers that officers had seized from them be returned.

The second incident occurred on 7 April 2004. The charge alleges that Mr. Dixon without reasonable excuse or justification instructed a chief inspector to release a man from lawful custody after the man had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The matters are to be heard in Grand Court.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards said she had given copies of the charges and a summary of facts to Mr. Alberga. She said she would provide a full bundle of papers for these matters by 15 August. She suggested another mention on 2 September so that Mr. Alberga would have time to review the papers and indicate whether he wanted the preliminary inquiry to be short form, with papers only, or long-form, with witnesses giving evidence.

The magistrate suggested that the preliminary inquiry be heard before 1 October so the matter could go to Grand Court for the next session. The dates 24-25 September were agreed.

Ms Richards said the Crown was content for Dixon to remain on bail, but she asked for several conditions. He is not to interfere with witnesses directly or indirectly. He is to live and sleep at his residence and provide a surety of $10,000.

If he wishes to travel, he is to notify the court and the police; his passport will be returned to him for that purpose. He is also to notify police if he is travelling to either of the Sister Islands.

Mr. Alberga asked why there had to be a surety to guarantee his client’s appearance in court. He pointed out that Mr. Dixon had been with the police for 30 years and was well known in the community. Mr. Dixon has met with people sent over to do their investigations, he had given statements and he had attended at all times, the attorney said. He found it quite exorbitant for the Crown to ask for a bond.

The magistrate said Mr. Alberga’s application was based on his client’s good character and the fact he is known in the community. ‘But now charges have crystallised and I am going to accede to the Crown’s request.’

Mr. Alberga advised that he is instructing other counsel in the matter.