Rayle Roberts speaks out

Rayle Roberts, the husband of the late Estella Scott-Roberts, has spoken out about his loss and the unimaginable pain that has resulted from persistent rumours circulating the community implicating him in the savage killing of his wife.

In a statement released to media houses Thursday, Mr. Roberts sought to put an end to those rumours once and for all.

‘I state, categorically, that I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder of my wife. I have, from the outset, cooperated with the police and their investigation as best I can,’ Mr. Roberts wrote.

Mr. Roberts said he has been counselled to keep his peace, but he was forced to speak out after the most recent round of rumours spread last week.

‘I, my family, Estella’s family and friends, have been grieving and mourning our loss of this wonderful human being who I have loved for the last seven years,’ Mr. Roberts said.

‘In the midst of our grief and loss, we have been subjected to further unimaginable pain and suffering by the unfounded and malicious rumours that have spread like wildfire throughout this community since Estella’s murder.

‘These rumours have sought to sully the character, reputation, and name of my wife. They have also sought to implicate me in her murder. These unfound stories have left me, my family and friends, with feelings of profound anger and resentment.’

Police have also categorically rejected persistent speculation that Rayle is a suspect in his wife’s murder.

On Thursday, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett was again forced to declare: ‘Rayle has not been arrested, is not a suspect and has never been a suspect.’

On his feelings towards the person or people involved in Estella’s murder, Mr. Roberts said he could only categorise them as evil.

He also detailed how he has been helping police with the murder investigation since Estella’s grisly killing on the night of 10 October.

‘I have provided them with all information that they have requested of me,’ Mr. Roberts said. ‘I have allowed them full access to our home and possessions,’ he said, adding that police have never arrested him or treated him as a suspect in the horrendous crime.

‘I will continue to support the efforts of the police in their quest to bring the killer, or killers, of my wife to justice, and I ask that those in the community who may have relevant information on this, or any other crime, to provide a similar support to the police.’

Mr. Roberts pleaded with the public to stop the rumour-mongering and allow police to get on with their investigation, rather than having to respond to ‘baseless and unfounded stories’.

‘On behalf of my family, Estella’s family, friends and myself, I ask those responsible for starting and spreading such vicious rumours to stop your falsehoods, as they are a source of our continued grief and suffering.

‘Please allow us to grieve and mourn over our loss without having to deal with the distraction of such malicious falsehoods,’ he said.

Hard choices

Mr. Roberts’ comments come as an unidentified man spent an 8th day being questioned at the George Town Police Station Sunday over his suspected involvement in Estella’s death.

The man has remained in police custody at the station since he was arrested on the night of Saturday, 18 October.

On Monday, police will be forced to either formally charge the man or apply to a magistrate for permission to hold him without charge for a further three days.

That would give them until Thursday night before they would be forced to make a final call on whether they charge him or release him on bail.

Police have refused to give away any details about the man and have pleaded for the public’s patience, saying they must protect their investigation.

Under the Police Law (2006) revision, police can hold someone for up to nine days without charge before they have to seek the permission of a magistrate to hold the person for a further three days.

While the Police Law allows authorities to hold a person for up to a total of 12 days without charge, police are forced to get the authority of higher ranking officers every 72 hours. There are also other preconditions that must be met for the detention to be allowed to continue.

After an initial 72 hours of detention, investigators must get the authorisation of a superintendent or higher ranking officer to extend the period by another 72 hours. The authorising officer must be satisfied the detention is necessary to secure or preserve evidence; that the person has been arrested for a ‘serious arrestable offence’; and that the investigation is being carried out diligently and expeditiously.

At the end of six days – last Friday night in this case – investigators would have had to get the authorisation of Commissioner of Police, David George, to hold the man for a further three days without charges being filed.

Again, Mr. George would have had to agreed that the detention was necessary to secure or preserve evidence; that the man had been arrested for a ‘serious arrestable offence’; and that the investigation was being carried out diligently and expeditiously.

If the investigation team on Monday go before a magistrate for permission to hold the man for another three days, the hearing will take place behind closed doors in Chambers. The man’s lawyer will also be present at the hearing.

While the system affords police in the Cayman Islands a significantly longer pre-charge detention time than police in most other jurisdictions, the RCIPS have argued the system has adequate checks and balances in place to ensure the power is not abused.

‘At each level, the investigating officer must put forward his reasons for wanting to keep that person in custody longer,’ RCIPS spokesperson Deborah Denis told the Caymanian Compass earlier this year. ‘We must ensure at each stage that our enquiries have been done as diligently and as expeditiously as possible, otherwise the extension will not be given.’ (Compass 28 April).

Anyone with information about the death of Mrs. Scott-Roberts is asked to contact police immediately on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to US$125,000. Any information could be crucial to this investigation.

To contact the investigation team directly, people can call: DI Kim Evans: 926-1773; DC Wade Chase: 925-7240; DC Charmane Dalhouse: – 926-3975; or DC Karl Lovell: 925-6761.