A U.S. national who was arrested aboard a cruise ship last month appeared in court Wednesday for resisting arrest and possession of ganja. At the conclusion of his trial, he was sentenced to time served.
Aries Raphael Woodfin, 37, first appeared in Summary Court on July 27, when he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to a named female aboard the ship two days earlier. He pleaded not guilty to the other charges and trial was set for Aug. 8, with Mr. Woodfin remaining in custody.
Attorney Jonathon Hughes assisted him on a volunteer basis, but was unable to continue on Wednesday because he was in a Grand Court trial.
He did attend the Summary Court during the lunch break and told Magistrate Philippa McFarlane that the defendant was not prepared to accept a summary of facts presented by Crown counsel Garcia Kelly.
Mr. Woodfin did not agree that he had said certain words to the police officer who went aboard the cruise ship after receiving a report of the assault incident. The words referred to another female present, to the effect, “I will try to hurt her if you try to put handcuffs on me.”
Mr. Woodfin said from the dock, “If I agree, can I get out of here? But I didn’t say that.”
The magistrate said she could not act as his lawyer, but she would explain each step of the trial process and would not allow any inappropriate question to be put to him or to any witness.
After hearing evidence that lasted past 5 p.m., the magistrate found Mr. Woodfin not guilty of possessing a small quantity of ganja found in his cabin. She said she was giving him the benefit of the doubt because other people in his travel party had been in his room. She found him guilty of resisting arrest, but said she would not add to his sentence for the assault.
If Mr. Woodfin resided in Cayman, one option would be for him to participate in a men’s non-violence program. Since that was not an option, she imposed a custodial sentence equal to the time he had already been in custody, some 15 days.
Mr. Hughes told the court that the American consul in Cayman had been assisting Mr. Woodfin. It was expected that, once the court paperwork was completed, he would be released and leave the island.