Not in public interest to continue common assault charge
Dwayne Seymour, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Bodden Town, was formally discharged in Summary Court on Monday, when he had been scheduled to stand trial for common assault.
He and Joseph Hartwell Minzett had been accused of assaulting Garrone Yap on Saturday night, 1 May, 2010, outside the Grand Cayman Beach Suites.
In a separate Grand Court trial, Mr. Yap told the court he was a first-time visitor to the Island and had come here to see Mr. Seymour’s wife, who was separated from her husband (Caymanian Compass, 16 May). That matter resulted in a jury verdict finding Mr. Seymour not guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by telling a hotel security “Security, you nuh see nuttin.”
Senior Crown Counsel John Masters told Magistrate Nova Hall yesterday that the assault charge was tied to the Grand Court matter, but common assault is triable only in Summary Court. He said it was no fault of Mr. Seymour’s that the charges could not be tried together after he elected Grand Court for the more serious matter.
Representation was made to the Crown by Attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke on behalf of both defendants, Mr. Masters continued. She argued that continuing the prosecution would amount to an abuse of process.
The Director of Public prosecutions, Cheryll Richards, did not agree. However, because the Crown has an ongoing duty to review its position, the view was taken that it would no longer be in the public interest to continue with the prosecution of the two men.
A letter to Ms Facey-Clarke stated that the decision not to prosecute “should not be construed to mean that the Crown has formed an adverse view about the quality of its case against either accused.” Ms Richards pointed out that the Crown does not consider the Public Interest Test unless the evidential test has been satisfied.
Mr. Masters said that test had been reassessed because a witness would have had to be flown back to Cayman.
Defence attorney Steve McField, who represented Mr. Seymour in Grand Court, said the sensible thing had been done.
“The public interest was more celebrity interest,” he told the court, because of Mr. Seymour’s position as an MLA. Mr. McField applauded the Crown for the course taken.
The magistrate told both men they were formally discharged and free to go.