Inquest: Police officers tell of domestic incident calls to couple’s home

A coroner’s jury in the inquest into the deaths of Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas and Devon Roy Campbell heard from three police officers who had responded to calls to the couple’s home on separate occasions.

The inquest began on Monday, with evidence concluding by lunchtime Wednesday. Coroner Eileen Nervik said she would instruct the jurors and sum up the cases on Friday morning so that they could return their verdicts.

The bodies of Ms. Thomas and Mr. Campbell were found at the Bodden Town home of her employer on Sunday morning, Feb. 9, 2014. Post-mortem examinations indicated that she had died from multiple chop wounds and he had died by hanging.

Acquaintances of the couple gave evidence that Ms. Thomas, 21, had suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of Mr. Campbell, 39.

Both were from Jamaica. He worked in Grand Cayman and she came to the island in March, 2012 and they lived together in an apartment in Bodden Town.

The coroner read a statement from Police Constable Owen Santo Jr., who said he responded to a call from a neighbor of the couple in October 2012.

He spoke to Ms. Thomas and she said she had had a dispute with Mr. Campbell, who had accused her of having a boyfriend in Jamaica. She said she wanted to leave Cayman and would stay in another room in their apartment until she left. She did not want Mr. Campbell arrested.

The officer inquired if there was a machete on the premises, but none was seen. He gave Mr. Campbell a warning and also warned both parties to keep the peace. He said the situation was calm when he left.

Mr. Santo said no domestic violence report was submitted because he was not aware that one was to be done if there was no visible injury.

Police Constable Rohan White, in his statement, said he responded to a report from Ms. Thomas in September 2013. She said Mr. Campbell had taken her passport and their baby’s passport.

While talking to her, Mr. White saw Mr. Campbell drive up in a car and the officer advised him that he had no right to hold Ms. Thomas’s passport and was told to hand it over. He did and she was satisfied, Mr. White said.

He said he did not fill out a domestic violence report because Ms. Thomas did not show any signs of fearing for her safety.

Police Constable VonDante Leslie gave a statement about an incident on Jan. 28, 2014. He said he received a report about a domestic dispute in which someone was armed with a screwdriver.

When he arrived at the scene, an officer from the Uniform Support Group was already speaking to a man, who was not armed. The complaint had been made by a next-door neighbor.

Mr. Leslie said he spoke with Ms. Thomas, who indicated that Mr. Campbell had threatened her with a screwdriver.

He saw no injuries.

He asked several times if she wanted an investigation but she said no; all she wanted was to pack up her personal things and leave the location.

He called the Family Support Unit and got a number for the Women’s Crisis Centre. He said Ms. Thomas spoke to someone there and arrangements were made for her to stay there. A neighbor said she would provide Ms. Thomas with transportation.
Mr. Leslie said officers spoke with Mr. Campbell, and he was severely warned.

The officer stated that he was aware it was procedure to fill out a domestic incident form. “We did not prepare a referral on this occasion because she said she was departing the island that Friday to go home to Jamaica.”