Evidence concludes in immigration officer’s DUI trial

Police officer suggests ‘mistaken identity’

Evidence in the trial of senior immigration officer Garfield (Gary) Wong concluded on Tuesday, with closing speeches scheduled for May 23.

Mr. Wong is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident in the early hours of Dec. 28, 2013.

The final witness in the case was a police officer called by defense attorney Dennis Brady.

Mr. Wong’s trial began in January 2017 after he pleaded not guilty to all charges. It continued part-heard over several dates. In June 2017, Police Constable Harvel Grant gave evidence that he had administered a breath test to Mr. Wong at the Bodden Town Police Station after the incident.

The test gave a reading of .184. The legal limit in Cayman is .100.

Mr. Wong gave his evidence in January, after Crown counsel Scott Wainwright closed the case for the prosecution. Mr. Wong said the officer who gave evidence about the breath test was not the officer who had administered the test to him. He said he recognized the testing officer’s face but did not know his name. He subsequently learned the name and told Mr. Brady that it was Constable Winston Wolliston.

After Mr. Wong’s evidence, Mr. Brady asked Magistrate Grace Donalds to issue a summons for Constable Wolliston to come to court.

He turned out not to be available in February, but did appear this week. Mr. Brady took him through the events of Dec. 27-28, 2013. He then summarized his questions by stating, “My instructions are that you and not Mr. Grant are the one who administered the breath test.”

Constable Wolliston replied that his only involvement at the police station was in documenting or “booking” Mr. Wong into custody after his arrest. He said Mr. Wong had told him about having a drink, but he told Mr. Wong to tell it to the testing officer.

Constable Wolliston agreed that he had read about Mr. Wong’s evidence “in the paper” and “I realized it was mistaken identity.” He explained that he and Mr. Grant were similar in height, they both had a bald head and, at the time, both were of slim build.

Questioned by Mr. Wainwright, he said he did not write “PC Grant” as the operator for Mr. Wong’s test and he was not in the room when the Intoxilyzer test was done.

Mr. Wainwright asked if the officer appreciated that he was being accused of lying under oath, and interfering with the course of justice. Constable Wolliston said yes, he did appreciate that and the fact that he would probably lose his job if he had lied.

Mr. Wainwright then asked, “Would you come here and risk your job over a DUI?”

“No, sir,” the officer replied.

Comments are closed.