Security concern delays murder appeal

Only two of seven courtrooms have purpose-built docks

Security concerns prompted the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal to adjourn hearing arguments on Thursday on behalf of Brian Emmanuel Borden, who is appealing his conviction for murder and his sentence of life imprisonment. 

Court president Sir John Chadwick adjourned the matter until next week after hearing from a senior prison officer who said the prison service would not be happy with the security in Kirk House, where the appeal court was sitting. He did not elaborate. 

Attorneys met with the three-judge panel in closed court before media representatives were allowed to attend. 

Justice Chadwick noted that it had been anticipated that the appeal would be heard in Court 2 in the Law Courts Building. 

Courts 1 and 2 are the only courtrooms with a purpose-built dock in which defendants sit and which leads directly into the area of holding cells for individuals who are in custody. 

On Thursday, Court 1 was being used for an attempted murder trial and dozens of prospective jurors attended for jury selection. 

Court 2 was being used for the ongoing trial of two men who have pleaded not guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm. 

Kirk House, which is across the street from the courthouse, has four courtrooms originally intended for civil cases and for criminal cases for defendants not in custody. 

One of the concerns was the single entrance/exit used by defendants, as well as witnesses, attorneys and the public. Other concerns included lack of a holding cell and only one set of rest rooms. 

The George Town Town Hall is used occasionally for traffic matters. Court 3 is in the courthouse. Where there is no dock, defendants sit at a table with their attorneys or sit in chairs behind them or at the side of the room. 

Borden’s appeal is now scheduled for Nov. 18. 

Borden was found guilty after trial by judge alone of murdering Robert Mackford Bush in West Bay in September 2011.