Several men charged in connection with a hostage abduction scheme appeared in Grand Court on Friday, 14 January. One defendant was absent from the hearing and was thought to have absconded.
Allen Kelly, 40, Richard Hurlstone, 32, Wespie Ramoon, 36, and Charles Webster, 28, are accused of abducting a young man, who was said to be induced by deceitful means to go to a particular address, where he was held while demands were made of his mother for a US$500,000 ransom.
Hurlstone’s attorney, Anthony Akiwumi, indicated that his client could not be found.
Court records show that Hurlstone was released on CI$25,000 bail. He was given a curfew and reporting conditions, which included checking in with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and ordered to surrender his travel documents in addition to not being allowed aboard any vessels.
However, Hurlstone last reported to the police on 10 December. He has not been seen on Island since. Crown Prosecutor Elisabeth Lees said that when the police became aware that he had stopped checking in, his house was checked and found to be “locked up”. She said his jewellery and furniture were being sold on Ecay Trade and there had been reports of Hurlstone being seen in Honduras.
Hurlstone is originally from Honduras and has Caymanian status.
Justice Karl Harrison said in light of the circumstances he would issue a warrant for Hurlstone’s arrest, bond would be forfeited and the trial would proceed in Hurlstone’s absence.
The matter will be mentioned again on 21 January. Trial for the men is scheduled to start on 21 February and is expected to run for two weeks.