Ricketts to be tried for rape

Larry
Prinston Ricketts, whose conviction and sentence for the murder of Estella
Scott-Roberts were affirmed last week, will stand trial on charges of
abduction, rape and robbery in connection with the same incident on the night
of 10 October, 2008.

He appeared
before Justice Charles Quin on Friday. Defence Attorney Nicola Moore told the
court that Ricketts’ appeal had been dismissed by the Cayman Islands Court of
Appeal, but he still had an outstanding indictment the Crown was proceeding
with.

She wondered
why further legal aid funds will be usurped for further proceedings when it
would make no difference to the sentence he is serving — imprisonment for
life.

Senior Crown
Counsel John Masters advised that Solicitor General Cheryll Richards had confirmed
to him the previous day that the Crown was continuing with the separate
indictment.

Ms Moore said
the trial is set to start 2 May. She was unable to say whether the trial would
be by jury or by judge alone, since legal aid did not cover lead counsel Gordon
Aspden coming to Cayman separately for that discussion.

Ricketts and
Kirkland Henry were both charged with Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ murder. At the time,
Cayman law required that no other offence could be charged on an indictment for
murder. The charges of abduction, rape and robbery were on a separate
indictment; Henry pleaded guilty before the murder trial started. Ricketts
pleaded not guilty.

After trial
by judge alone, both men were found guilty of murder and given the mandatory
sentence of life imprisonment. At a later hearing for Henry, he received 20
years for rape, 15 years for abduction and 13 years for robbery, all in
connection with the same series of incidents; the terms are concurrent. In
handing down the sentences, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie noted he was required
by law to separate these offences from the killing.

On 29
November, the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction and sentence of Ricketts
and Henry. Reasons will be released later.

At the time
of her death, Mrs. Scott-Roberts worked as corporate communications manager for
Cable and Wireless. She was known in the community for her previous involvement
with the Women’s Resource Centre, the Crisis Centre and the Cayman Islands
National Policy for Gender Equality. She had just celebrated her 33rd birthday.

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