MLA denies words to guard

Seymour says he did not say anything to influence the security guard

Taking the stand in his own defence on Tuesday, Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour denied saying anything to a security guard after being engaged in an altercation with a man who previously told the court he had come to Cayman to see Mr. Seymour’s wife.

Specifically, Mr. Seymour denied saying, “Security, you nuh see nuttin’.” The words are the basis of a charge that he attempted to pervert the course of justice by trying to dissuade the guard from giving evidence.

The allegation arose from an incident outside the Grand Caymanian Beach Suites Resort on the night of Saturday, 1 May, 2010.

Mr. Seymour said that after his altercation with the visitor, Garrone Yap, Mr. Yap went inside the hotel and the guard went with him to the door. He said the guard came back out but did not speak to him and he did not say anything to influence the guard.

Defence Attorney Steve McField then called Hartwell Minzett as a witness. Mr. Minzett said that after the altercation, the guard came out and told them to leave and they got in their cars and left. He said he did not hear Mr. Seymour say anything to the guard.

Senior Crown Counsel John Masters cross-examined Mr. Minzett and asked him if he would lie for Mr. Seymour. Mr. Minzett said the Bible says you shouldn’t lie, no matter what.

Mr. Masters then asked if he had told Mrs. Seymour that evening that Mr. Seymour had been in a car accident. “It was a prank,” the witness said.

The question of a car accident came up in Mr. Seymour’s evidence. He told the court he had gone to the hotel after receiving information that his wife was possibly there with a male friend. He made a lot of calls to his wife, but she didn’t answer.

Mr. Seymour said he called Mr. Minzett to come, the idea being that they would exchange vehicles because Mr. Seymour didn’t want his seen.

He realised his wife was getting suspicious of where he was, so he tried to flush her out. He texted her that he had been in an accident and needed her to come to the hospital: “I thought that was a way to get her to come down out of the room.” He said she texted several questions to him, asking how bad it was. He said he replied that he wasn’t the one texting.

Mr. Seymour said his wife did not come down. He said he was outside his car and Mr. Minzett was with him when he saw a person coming toward them. The person turned out to be Mr. Yap. Mr. Seymour said words were exchanged, but he denied making any derogatory remarks about his wife, pointing out that she was the mother of his children. He said Mr. Yap was “flinching” and “faking me” and then struck him twice, so Mr. Seymour defended himself.

Mr. McField pointed out that it was alleged Mr. Seymour had used his influence to discover Mr. Yap was on the Island. The defendant said no.

Asked how he knew, he said, ”I have a lot of friends who work at the airport. A friend called me.”

In cross-examination, Mr. Masters asked who the friend was. Mr. Seymour did not want to divulge that information, but eventually named one of his employees. He said his company was Airport Professional Services, which performs security for airlines. He denied getting information inappropriately and said he did not get it from Immigration. He indicated his employee/friend could use “eyesight”.

Mr. Seymour said he did not remember which friend had told him his wife might be at the hotel; he was getting “a lot of information…. People saw them all over the place.”

He denied lying and told the court he had gone to Sunday School until he was 25.

Mr. Masters said he had lied to his wife about being at the hospital.

“It was a plan,” the defendant replied. He said after he texted her that he had been struck by a car while crossing the road and she should come to the hospital, she called him but he did not answer. The second time she called, he got Mr. Minzett to answer.

Asked if Mr. Minzett had lied for him, Mr. Seymour said he had already told his wife he had been hit by a car, so it was more realistic for him not to answer her call. He said Mr. Minzett “was supporting the scheme.”

Mr. McField objected to questions at various points, arguing that they had nothing to do with what was allegedly said to the guard. Mr. Masters said the allegation was that Mr. Seymour had abused his position to such a degree that he felt he could tell a security guard not to say anything.

Mr. McField closed the case for the Defence on Tuesday afternoon. Justice Algernon Smith indicated he would be summing up the case on Thursday morning.