September 20, 2020

AQUITTED (AGAIN!) Justice has been done says MLA Dwayne Seymore

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The assault trial of Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour ended as quickly as it began yesterday when government prosecutors offered no evidence and Magistrate Nova Hall dismissed the case.

Appearing for the crown, prosecutor John Masters said the public interest would not be served by proceeding with the charges against Mr Seymour and co-defendant Joseph Minzett, pointing out that the MLA had been acquitted in May in a similar case, using similar evidence.

“He was originally tried in Grand Court for perverting the course of justice,” Mr Masters told Magistrate Hall. “Because this was a category three offence, it was severed from that case, to be tried separately.”

Saying it was not Mr Seymour’s fault the two cases have been separated, however, Mr Masters said that, while the assault charges “passed the evidential test”, satisfying the crown on one hand, “we must consider the public interest aspect”.

“The public interest would not be served because of the costs involved, getting witnesses here and putting them up. It is no longer in the public interest to pursue the common assault charges, and we are not prepared to run on that basis. We will offer no evidence today,” he said.

Seymour lawyer Steve McField, who gained the May acquittal for the MLA after a highly charged, highly controversial closing argument, thanked Mr Masters and the court.

“I am grateful to [Mr Masters] because this is the most sensible course. The great interest in this case was simply that Dwayne Seymour is a member of the Legislative Assembly. I appreciate this sensible choice,” Mr McField told the court.

Speaking after Ms Hall discharged the case, Mr Seymour told iNews he was gratified at the outcome.

“I feel justice has been done,” he said. “It was the most sensible thing to do, especially with the first part of the case being not guilty for me. The evidence here was chosen from that trial and it was very clear I was not guilty, so this was the most sensible thing to do.”

Director Of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards underlined that the case against Mr Seymour and Mr Minzett had not been discontinued for lack of legal foundation.

“The decision not to continue with the prosecution should not be construed to mean that the crown has formed an adverse view about the quality of its case against either accused. I reiterate that the crown does not consider issues of public interest unless the evidential test has been satisfied,”” she wrote to Seymour legal consultants Facey-Clarke & Associates,

She rejected lawyer Margeta Facey-Clarke’s claim, however, that to proceed would have been “an abuse of process”.

“Having considered the authorities,” Ms Richards wrote, “I am comfortable there would be no abuse of process to continue with the prosecution. “The crown,” she concluded, “is of the view that it would no longer be in the public interest to continue with the prosecution”

In May, after a weeklong trial prosecuted by Mr Masters, a jury found Mr Seymour innocent of obstructing the course of justice in the wake of a fistfight outside the Grand Cayman Beach Suites. The crown had accused him of ordering hotel personnel not to speak to authorities about the fight between himself and love rival, Miami-based fitness instructor Garrone Yap, suspected of having an affair with Mr Seymour’s wife.

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