Court visits accident scene

Jury and court members attend the scene at Villas of the Galleon. In the background is The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, pedestrian overpass. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Jury also walks through Ritz-Carlton facilities

Jurors in the trial of Simon Courtney left the courtroom on Friday morning for a visit to Villas of the Galleon and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

They have already heard that the defendant has pleaded not guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily as a result of two pedestrians being struck by a vehicle he drove on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.

The incident occurred near Villas of the Galleon.

Before the site visit, jurors saw CCTV footage of a man identified as the defendant; he is seen returning to the Ritz-Carlton through a door close to the Villas of the Galleon property, after the accident.

CCTV footage shows him passing through corridors and then outside on the seaside. He is seen moving around the pool area, onto the beach and then heading in the George Town direction.

Kurt Christian, Ritz-Carlton assistant director of loss prevention, explained the CCTV footage in court. Later, he led the group through the property and pointed out the locations of CCTV cameras.

Before departing from the courtroom, Justice Malcolm Swift explained that the site visit was still court: no electronic devices were to be used; jurors were not to talk, but to listen and observe. They were transported by bus, accompanied by Deputy Clerk Donovan Fearon.

The judge, his secretary and the court reporter traveled separately, as did the prosecution team and the defense lawyers. The party included several police officers in plain clothes.

Justice Swift had explained that it was not usual for a defendant to attend a site visit, although it was his right to do so if he wished. In this case, the defendant did not attend.

The group went first to Villas of the Galleon, where they were met by property manager Lisa Ebanks, who pointed out areas she had given evidence about on Thursday afternoon.

Everyone then walked along West Bay Road to the Ritz-Carlton, where Mr. Christian met them and led them through the areas they had seen on the CCTV.

After walking back to Villas of the Galleon, everyone returned to the Law Courts Building, where proceedings resumed at 12:30 p.m.