Escapee’s trial held in his absence

Verdict expected on 10 November

The trial of Danian Cecil Henry went ahead in Summary Court on Tuesday although he was not present to hear the evidence against him.

Henry, 28, escaped from the George Town Police Station on Sunday evening. He had been in custody for firearms-related matters (Caymanian Compass, 27 October).

His trial did not involve firearms. He was charged with being concerned in the possession of cocaine with intent to supply following an incident in March 2008. He entered a plea of not guilty and Tuesday’s trial date had been set for some time.

The amount of cocaine alleged was 28.9 grams, or just over one ounce.

When court began on Tuesday, Senior Crown Counsel Trevor Ward reminded Magistrate Grace Donalds that the Criminal Procedure Code allows the court to proceed with a trial when a defendant wilfully refuses to attend.

Mr. Ward pointed out that when the matter was last mentioned, Henry was in court, he was duly bound over to attend on 27 October and he was represented by an attorney.

In these circumstances, the accused person is deemed to have given consent to proceedings being conducted in his absence.

The magistrate indicated she was satisfied that the legal conditions had been met.

Attorney Ben Tonner, who had represented Henry previously, said he could not object. He also advised that his instructions from his client were not complete and he asked permission to come off record. This was granted.

Mr. Ward then called five witnesses, most of whom were police officers.

He also handed up Henry’s interview. It was not read aloud in court. The magistrate indicated she would read it when reviewing the evidence.

She expected to deliver her verdict on Tuesday, 10 November.