Senior Immigration Officer Garfield (Gary) Wong was scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday in relation to his convictions last month for careless driving and leaving the scene of the accident in the early hours of Dec. 27, 2013, after his truck was in a collision with a car on Shamrock Road, in the vicinity of Hibiscus Gardens.
However, his attorney, Dennis Brady, said at the beginning of the hearing that he had recently come across a recording that may contain evidence of perjury having been committed during Mr. Wong’s trial.
Mr. Brady did not go into detail about the contents of the recording or the allegations of perjury, but he asked for a three-week adjournment to determine what actions he will take in light of his recent finding. Mr. Brady also stated that he had filed appeals against Mr. Wong’s convictions.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright said that any findings made by Mr. Brady should be handled by the appeals court, but Magistrate Grace Donalds nevertheless adjourned her sentencing until Oct. 24, and extended Mr. Wong’s bail until then, too.
Tuesday’s hearing marked four years and eight months since Mr. Wong was arrested in Dec. 2013, and was the thirteenth time Mr. Wong’s matter has been before Magistrate Donalds.
At his trial, Mr. Wong said he was driving west toward his home when his cellphone fell from the seat to the floor of the truck. He said he checked his rear-view mirror and the road ahead, did not see anything, and then bent down to pick up the phone, taking his eyes off the road in the process.
Magistrate Donalds said during her verdict last month that Mr. Wong had shown a lack of critical judgment and he had failed to conform to the standards of a reasonable and prudent driver. Questioned by Crown counsel Scott Wainwright, he had agreed he was driving without due care and attention.
Mr. Wong had also told the court that as he picked up his phone, he felt a bump and heard a thump. He said he thought he had hit a pothole.
Photos of the two vehicles showed considerable damage to both of them. The force of the impact must have been significant, the magistrate commented during her verdict. The noise should have alerted Mr. Wong that he had been in an accident and the final resting place of the other vehicle should have made him aware of the collision, she said at the time.
Mr. Wong was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, but was found not guilty of that charge last month.
According to evidence produced at the trial, a breathalyzer test given to Mr. Wong at the Bodden Town Police Station after the accident produced a reading of .184. The legal limit in Cayman is .100.
However, the arresting officer said he could not confirm whether he was in the room for the test. Magistrate Donalds said during her verdict that the inability to unequivocally confirm the officer’s presence raised a doubt: It appeared that there may not have been strict compliance with the law, so the breathalyzer certificate should not have been admitted into evidence.
The Traffic Law states that the constable operating an alcohol-in-breath measuring device shall do so in the presence of another constable and the result of the breath test is to be signed by him and “countersigned by the constable in whose presence it was made …”
Without evidence of the alcohol-in-blood level, the magistrate found Mr. Wong not guilty of this charge and acquitted him.