Fire Services mum on sex assault review

An independent review of the
internal complaints procedures of the Fire Services Department following the
conviction of a fireman for indecent assault on a female colleague has been
completed.

Details of the report however have
not yet been made public as the Ministry of Financial Services, which oversees
the Fire Services Department, has passed details of the review on to the Legal
Department.

It is understood that the report
was completed several weeks ago.

Leonard Dilbert, deputy chief
officer (development) in the Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development, said
his ministry could not comment on the review because “this matter is the
subject of ongoing legal action”.

When asked what that legal action
entailed, he declined to elaborate and would not say if the report would
ultimately be released to the public.

However, he added: “The Fire
Services Department is acting on the matters arising from the previous trial.”

Review delayed

According to officials, the review
into the victim’s complaints was first started prior to a police investigation
into the assaults, which were carried out in November and December 2006. The
review was halted as the police investigation was carried out and during the
subsequent court case in February last year in which fireman Dorian Hunter was
tried and convicted of four counts of indecent assault.

Hunter was jailed for 18 months.

Once the court case was completed,
the review was delayed again until last July while the department said it was
awaiting transcripts from the trial.

During the trial, Grand Court Judge
Charles Quin said officers within the Fire Services Department subjected the
victim to humiliating and degrading treatment at the Cayman Brac fire station,
which was described during the trial as a “very unpleasant place for women to
work”.

Victim statement

In her victim impact statement
before the court, the former fire fighter said she had been ostracised by the
Cayman Brac community and the fire services after she had complained of the
assaults.

In her statement, the woman told
the court: “The other officers at the fire station treated me as an outcast;
they isolated me from a lot of interaction with them. The fire officers had no
respect for me and they did not hide their feelings.”

Following last May’s election,
responsibility for the Fire Services Department shifted from the Portfolio of
Internal and External Affairs, which commissioned the internal review, to the
Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development.

LOCALDilbertLeonardSTORY

Mr. Dilbert

Comments are closed.