Webster charged with four counts of gross indecency

Magistrate grants bail

Errington Webster arrives at court on Wednesday. He faces four counts of gross indecency with a minor. - PHOTO: MATT LAMERS

Errington Albert Webster, 54, was charged with four counts of gross indecency with a minor Wednesday and appeared in the Cayman Islands Summary Court to face the charges.

Webster, who was in police custody when he appeared at the courthouse, is accused of indecent acts with an underage girl – one of which was video recorded and distributed via social media and electronic messaging around Grand Cayman Thursday and Friday of last week.

The charges relate to one victim whom the court ordered not be identified.

Following the release of the video, which was apparently taken by the underage victim herself, Webster was assaulted and beaten outside his home in Belford Estates, Bodden Town, Thursday afternoon. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service arrested a 32-year-old man in connection with the attack.

The small courtroom No. 7 in downtown George Town was packed with a number of Webster’s family members who sat quietly and listened while attorneys reviewed the case.

After discussions with Mr. Webster’s attorney, Steve McField, and Crown counsel Ellie Fargin in court Wednesday, Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez agreed to release Webster on $5,000 bond. The Crown opposed bail for Webster, stating that it had evidence of Webster’s family members – though not Webster himself – approaching the victim’s family and talking about “what can happen if this matter is reported to police.”

Mr. McField told the court that there was no evidence Webster, who he said had been in police custody since he was arrested Sunday, had made these approaches and advised that the court could make strict orders to prevent that from happening, if it wished.

Magistrate Hernandez ordered that Webster reside under 24-hour curfew at his son’s house in North Side district. Webster’s son has a two-year-old daughter and the judge ordered that Webster was not to be left alone with “any minor” during the bail period.

In addition, the court ordered that neither Webster nor any of his family members were to make contact with the victim or the victim’s family while the case is proceeding through the courts.

Ms. Hernandez also ordered that any copies of the video described in the court be taken from the public domain and destroyed. She warned that anyone distributing the video for any purpose could face criminal prosecution as well.

Webster was ordered to return to court on Aug. 3 where he was expected to enter a plea to the charges and elect which court would hear the case. His passport was seized by the court and he must inform the RCIPS of any follow-up visits to the hospital as a result of the assault against him. Mr. McField said he believed Webster would have to return to seek additional medical care this week.

Webster will continue to report to the George Town Police Station on Monday and Friday each week before the adjudication of his criminal matter.

Webster had been touted as a potential political candidate in the upcoming general election and ran unsuccessfully during 2013 in Bodden Town district. The Cayman Islands Democratic Party, of which he was a member, said Webster agreed to resign from the party on Friday.