Overstaying case shelved

Rose Marie Millywood McCook, whom has lived in the Cayman Islands for over 19 years, was told by Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale on Tuesday that a case of overstaying against her would not proceed.

The defendant only came before the court after she broke her hand whilst on the job and found out that she had no insurance or pension.

Her employment was later terminated. However, she apparently failed to make a complaint about the issue at the time.

Ms McCook said she applied for permanent residence and was turned down.

Justice Ramsay-Hale said she was amazed that a woman who had been living in the Cayman Islands for 19 years, without incidents’ residence was turned down.

‘If Immigration doesn’t want her here, they can pay to put her on a plane,’ she remarked.

The Crown had been mulling over the case’s feasibility and Crown Prosecutor Tricia Hutchinson said that the decision was made to proceed.

Though after hearing the facts of the case and the defendant’s position, Magistrate Ramsay-Hale said it was not appropriate to proceed in the matter and suggested that Ms McCook may have been the victim of her employer.

She asked the defendant if she had an attorney, to which she replied, ‘No.’

Defence Attorney Lloyd Samson however, indicated that he would take on the matter.

Ms McCook is having discussions with a labour tribunal regarding her situation with her employer.

Magistrate Ramsay-Hale said she was not minded to dismiss the charge because it would mean the defendant would not be able to see through the tribunal process and would have to leave the jurisdiction immediately.

Instead, she said she would allow the charge to stand on file so that the defendant could have proper representation, as well as advice in seeing her situation through.

Ms McCook will return to Summary Court on 26 January.

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