Chief Magistrate finds no case to answer
The charges arose from incidents in November 2009 at Centennial Towers in West Bay where Ms Catron had rented a unit. In the process of vacating the unit, she removed fixtures and damaged a partition she had paid to have installed.
Ms Catron made her submission of no case to answer after Crown Counsel Tanya Lobban concluded evidence for the prosecution. She cited a high court decision stating no offence is committed if the person damaging property does so in the honest but mistaken belief that the property is his own.
Ms Lobban argued that the defendant had acted in bad faith, deliberately destroying the partition because there was no agreement in place to compensate her for it.
The magistrate said the Crown had failed to prove a dishonest intent. She pointed to evidence that the owners’ initial position was that the renter should put the unit back as it was when she rented it. They then advised her that she did not have permission to remove anything. If the owners did not know the terms of their contract, how could the defendant, the magistrate concluded.
Be sure to read more on this story in upcoming editions of the Caymanian Compass….