The trial of Cayman Marl Road administrator Sandra Teresa Hill concluded in the Grand Court today. A verdict is expected by the middle of next month.
Hill faces a charge of using an ICT (information and communications technology) network to abuse, annoy or harass. The charge stems from a series of allegations which she made about businessman Matthew Leslie, about his marriage and other aspects of his personal and professional life. The allegations were made during a podcast which aired on Hill’s Cayman Marl Road website and was then posted to its supporting social media pages.
During the trial, prosecutor Darlene Oko argued that Hill’s actions and comments, before and during the podcast, amounted to harassment. Oko said, despite a verbal request from the police and a strongly worded warning letter from Leslie’s attorneys requesting that she not do the podcast and to cease the allegations, Hill persisted. Oko argued that by persisting and using the ICT network to create and post the allegations, Hill had broken the ICT law.
Throughout the trial, Hill accepted having made the allegations but denied committing any offence, claiming she made the allegations against Leslie because she believed they were true.
Hill’s attorney Clayton Phuran argued Hill was expressing her constitutional right to freedom of expression and she was trying to inform the public and protect it for a man whom she believed to be dangerous.
During the trial, Hill told the court that although her website did not report news in the traditional way, she believed 97% of it was true and 3% was gossip.
Justice Roger Chapple who presided over the case, previously ruled that the truthfulness of the allegations was not a matter for the court. Rather the court’s task was to determine whether by publishing the allegations, Hill had committed an offence.
Justice Chapple adjourned the matter for three weeks and said he would endeavour to have a verdict by 17 July.
Hill was released on bail.