October 20, 2020

The Editor speaks: 10 months goes by and Cayman Islands police do not even acknowledge lawyer’s complaint

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Colin Wilson2webOn the 29th May 2013 Cayman Islands lawyer Peter Polack notified the Summary Court he had made a complaint to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on behalf of his client, Andre Woodman.

The Complaint concerned what Polack claims was an illegal search executed by Detective Constable Winston Harrison at the home occupied by his client. William I Wood Justice of the Peace issued the Warrant.

The Warrant was dated 22nd November 2013 and was issued because the JP was satisfied that the police officer had reasonable suspicion there was controlled drugs on the premises.

On the Summary of Facts it states:

“On Monday the 25th of November 2013 about 6:25am, police officers from the Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force, K9 and the Operational Support Unit conducted a search of premises #189 Lemuel Circle, Northward, Bodden Town.
Present during the search of the premises were Andre Carroll WOODMAN D.O.B 02nd July 1984 (owner of the premises) and Itzel Hebbert ANDERSON (girlfriend of Andre Goodman).
Upon entering the house Woodman was served with a copy of the search warrant and he admitted that he had the ganja in the house for his personal use and showed the officers a jar containing ganja that was under a fish tank in the living room (Ref# WI-11). Officers then observed a small portion of ganja on the kitchen counter (Ref# WH2).

The K9 Dog was subsequently used to do a search of the house and recovered one plastic bag containing powder suspected to be cocaine in bedroom #2 (Ref# WH3).

At 6:25am Woodman and Anderson were both cautioned separately and arrested for possession of ganja and possession of crack/cocaine with intent to supply. When cautioned they made no comment.

Officers then conducted a comprehensive search of the house and found the following items:

In the kitchen:
1. Scales
2. Yellow paper sandwich bags

the spelling mistake that lists Itzel Hebbert ANDERSON as girlfriend of Andre Goodman. This is exactly as the original. She presumably is the girlfriend of Andre Woodman!

In the Statement of the Witness her name is given as Tizel Anderson!

The Statement of Witness says:
ROYAL CAYMAN ISLANDS POLICE STATEMENT OF WITNESS
THE EVIDENCE LAW, 2007 Section 28 (1) (a) and (b) & Section 33 (1) & Criminal Evidence Rule 3

Statement of: Winston Harrison

Age if under 18: Over 30

Occupation: Detective Constable 137

This statement; consisting of 2 .page{s} each signed by me, it is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it tendered in evidence, I shall be
Liable to prosecution if I have willfully stated in it anything in the truth which I do not believe.

Signed …………..(signature) date 28/11/2013

I am a Detective Constable assigned to the Drugs and Serious Crime Task force of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

On Monday 25th day of November2013 at 5.47 hours, I was in charge of a team of police officers DSCTF, OSU and K9 unit that executed a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs at# 189 Lemuel Circle Old Yard Lane Northward Grand Cayman.

This premises is occupied by Mr Andre Woodman DOB 02th July 1984, upon arrival at the house I knocked the front and shouted police and about five (5) minutes after Mr Woodman whom I had known before opened the main front door I immediately identified myself and told him that I have a search warrant to search of drugs at his premises. I asked him if there is any one else inside he said, his girl. I handed him the warrant and DC451 Alexander went in to the girlfriend and escorted her outside, she gave her name as Tizel Anderson Dab 15.02.1990 of #12 Bushy Ave George Town,

I went inside the house along with other officers there Mr Woodman told me that he has some ganja and pointed to a fish tank, where I found under the tank a large glass jar containing ganja same was exhibited as WH#1. I showed it to him and he said it was for his personal use. I also found a wrap of foil with ganja inside draw in the kitchen same exhibited as WH#2. It was showed to him and he said it for his personal use. I asked him if there is any things else illegal inside the house that he wants us to know of he said no. The K9 was allowed to go through the house before the search commence.

Signed ……………… (signature) Witnessed by NO WITNESS name entered

Print Name ………….. (Winston Harrison) It was not printed but written (not capitalised)

END

NOTE: I do not have a copy of the second page.

It is important to note that Detective Constable Harrison states that at 5:47 hours he was in charge of a team of police officers that executed the aforementioned search warrant.

In the documents I have in my possession that include all of the above I have a letter from John Tibbetts, Chief Meteorologist of the Cayman Islands National Weather Service that states “The official sunrise on 25th November was 6:39 am.”

Polack’s complaint is:

1.Against the several officers of the led by DC 137 Harrison who executed a search warrant issued under Section 26 of the Criminal Procedure Code in breach of Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code on 25 November 2013 at 189 Lemuel Circle, Northward namely that the warrant was executed at 5:47 am before sunrise at 6:39 am as per attached Weather Service certificate.

The complaint is of Criminal Trespass – Section 277 , Forcible Entry – Section 84 Penal Code , Neglect of Official Duty, Section 119 Penal Code and related offences.

2. Against DC 137 Harrison who stated in the Summary of Facts that the warrant was executed at 6:25 am in circumstances where the warrant was executed at 5:47 am before sunrise at 6:39 am as per attached Weather Service certificate in breach of Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code on 25 November 2013 at 189 Lemuel Circle, Northward.

The complaint is of offences under Part IV of the Penal Code.

By copy email the Complaints Commissioner is notified of this complaint.

Regards

Peter Polack

Legal Counsel on behalf of Andre Woodman

Criminal Procedure Code (Rev)

27. (1) Every search warrant may be issued at any time and may be executed on any day between the hours of sunrise and sunset, but the court or Justice of the Peace may, by the warrant, in its or his discretion, authorise the police officer or other person to whom it is addressed to execute it at any time.

111. (1) A person who –

(d) while a judicial proceeding is pending, makes use of any speech or writing misrepresenting such proceeding or capable of prejudicing any person in favour of or against any parties to such proceeding, or calculated to lower the authority of any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken.

END

Last Friday (27) Polack sent an email to RCIPS Commissioner Baines saying:
“Commissioner
“As some ten months have elapsed since this complaint without acknowledgement or reply kindly advise of the RCIPS position in regard to email complaint of criminal conduct by members of the RCIPS

The email was copied to Alden McLaughlin, Eric Bush, Franz Manderson, Bernie Bush, Mckeeva Bush, Cheryl Richards, Brady Regional Safety Consultants and Greg Walcolm.

Maybe Polack will now get some action but even me, a complete novice, at the legal game, can see from the facts and documents I have that the search at 189 Lemuel Circle, Northward was illegal.

It has not taken me ten months to consider this. In fact it took me only ten minutes.

It is completely unreasonable that not even an acknowledgement or reply of any kind has been made.

With great aplomb the police only recently said they were listening to all the complaints the public have made, many concerning the deafness the police are to complaints. As I said in my Editorial about this. We are tired of the police listening and we are tired of all the nods and cries we (the RCIPS) will do better and training has been put in place to rectify the problem. We actually want to see action.

It actually doesn’t take any training to at least acknowledge an email, especially from a lawyer who is representing a client the police are prosecuting.

10 months? It should only have taken 10 minutes!

Copies of Documents (Click to enlarge)

Search Warrant WoodmanDC 137 Harrison statementSummary of FactsScreen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.58.06 PM

 

 

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