Adrian James Barnett, the former head of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Traffic Management Unit, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to three traffic-related offenses.
Mr. Barnett, 53, will lose his driver’s license for a year and will be fined $1,500 for leaving the scene of an accident, driving while impaired and dangerous driving in June 2017.
“It is in a sense a tragic case in one way,” said defense attorney John Furniss in the moments before Mr. Barnett was sentenced. “This incident led to Mr. Barnett’s retirement from the police force.”
Crown counsel Stacy-Ann Kelly read the facts of the case Wednesday in the courtroom of Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez. Mr. Barnett drove directly toward oncoming traffic on June 10 last year, causing several oncoming vehicles to swerve out of the way, the court heard. Ms. Kelly said Mr. Barnett collided with the back of a Range Rover and then left the scene of the accident without exchanging names.
Mr. Furniss said that Mr. Barnett called the police station the day after the accident and arranged for a crime scene investigator to take pictures of his vehicle, and he turned himself in to police on June 12. Mr. Furniss also said that the charge of driving while impaired arose from Mr. Barnett’s own admission.
Mr. Barnett was charged with the three offenses on Dec. 12, and he retired from the RCIPS on Dec. 21. Before that, he had been suspended from duty following the incident. He pleaded guilty to all three offenses last month, and the Crown withdrew another charge of giving false information to police to defeat or defy the ends of justice. Mr. Barnett surrendered his driver’s license to the court on Jan. 29 and he will not be eligible to drive again until Jan. 29 next year.
Magistrate Hernandez explained that the dangerous driving charge carries a mandatory 12-month disqualification of the license, and Mr. Barnett was also sentenced to a 12-month disqualification that will run concurrently for driving while impaired. He has one month to pay his fine.
“There’s no history of other problems with Mr. Barnett,” said Mr. Furniss shortly before the final sentence was read into the record. “All in all, the incident has had a very dramatic impact on his life.”