MLA Seymour’s wife was ‘sacred vessel’, jury hears

Trial delayed slightly

Grand Court jurors for the trial of Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour heard closing speeches on Wednesday afternoon from Senior Crown Counsel John Masters and Defence Attorney Steve McField.

The defendant is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by attempting to dissuade Adrian Bowen from giving evidence by saying, “Security, you nuh see nuttin’.” The remark was allegedly made after Mr. Seymour was engaged in an altercation with Garrone Yap outside the Caymanian Beach Suites Resort on the night of Saturday, 1 May 2010 when Mr. Bowen was on security duty.

When the trial started on Monday, Mr. Yap said he had come to Cayman to visit Mrs. Seymour, who was separated from the defendant at the time. Both attorneys agreed that the trial was not about the altercation; Mr. McField reminded the jury that an assault charge is pending in Summary Court.

Mr. Masters said what was in dispute was whether the words were said. The essential issue for jurors was whether or not they believed the security guard, Mr. Bowen. If they did, that was the end of the matter because Mr. Seymour had denied saying the words.

He suggested what jurors should look for in assessing the credibility of Mr. Yap and Mr. Bowen for the Crown, and Mr. Seymour and Hartwell Minzett for the Defence; take their demeanour into account and consider whether they were trying to assist the court, he said.

He pointed out that Mr, Bowen was not a friend or enemy of anyone; he had nothing to gain by coming to court.

He described Mr. Seymour as not credible, evasive and introducing red herrings such as his wife’s alleged infidelity.

Mr. Seymour gave evidence that he had received information his wife was at the hotel. He came up with a plan to get her to come out by sending a text that he had been hit by a car and she needed to come to the hospital. He referred to it as a scheme and Mr.Minzett called it a prank. “A lie by any other name still stinks,” Mr. Masters commented.

Whether or not Mrs. Seymour decided to strike up a friendship with another man was irrelevant, he said. Jurors might form the view that the Defence was trying to make this a moral issue.

Mr. McField said Mr. Masters had told jurors that Mrs. Seymour had the right to be in a hotel with another man and Mr. Seymour had no right to be there to discover where his wife was. “Mr. Masters says Mr. Seymour had no right to look for his wife… I disagree,” he declared.

A man has a right to protect his house and wife and children, Mr. McField continued. “That’s an example of the different cultural values people bring.”

He quoted from the 2009 Constitution about the people of the Cayman Islands affirming their intention to be “a country in which religion finds its expression in moral living and social justice.” He said Mr. Seymour had every right to be at the hotel to protect his wife, he had a right to see what she was doing.

Mr. McField said Mr. Seymour was sitting in the dock as a victim while Mr. Yap came and went, sleeping in his house and driving around in the Benz that Mr. Seymour has to pay for. The Immigration Law provides for the deportation of an undesirable person,

Mr. McField pointed out, and in his opinion Mr. Yap fit into that category. That section of the law protects Cayman’s cultural, constitutional and Christian heritage, the attorney said.

Mr. McField analysed the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, he commented on reasonable doubt and asked jurors to use their good old Caymanian common sense.

Jurors had a right to look at the security guard’s evidence with a high degree of suspicion, Mr. McField said. Mr. Bowen had a fear of losing his work permit; he did not have a fear of Mr. Seymour, the attorney argued.

He said Mr. Seymour was in court for loving, caring and trying to protect his family. His home was his castle, his wife was his sacred vessel. He tried to keep that home together.

But even if Mr. Seymour’s story sounded ridiculous or slightly incredible, it didn’t matter because the burden was on the Prosecution to prove their case and they had not discharged that burden, Mr. McField concluded.

Justice Algernon Smith directed the jurors to leave at that point and return for 10am on Thursday. He reminded them not to allow anyone to speak to them about the case.

Slight delay

Justice Smith is expected to
begin his directions to the jury on
Friday morning.

He had expected to begin
at 1.15pm on Thursday, after the lunch adjournment, but one of the jurors was
absent because of a medical emergency with a family member.  The juror had
expressed an interest in coming back to court later in the afternoon, Justice
Smith told the other six jurors.

The court does have the
jurisdiction to discharge one juror
and proceed with the rest, he noted. However, he had discussed the matter with
the attorneys in the case and it was thought best in the interests of justice to
adjourn until the next day so that all seven could be
present.

He expressed the hope
there would be no other hitch in the matter.

 

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