Archive | Crime

Pastor jailed for having sex with a minor

Pastor jailed for having sex with a minor

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 10, CMC – A pastor has been jailed for 20 years after he was found guilty of having sex with a minor two years ago.

Justice Lorna Shelly Williams Friday sentenced Pastor Reverend Paul Hanniford of the Pentecostal City Mission Church after he was found guilty by a seven-member jury on January 24.

Rape fear – alarm

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (OFPP) said the complainant, who is now 15 years old, testified in court that on March 12, 2015, she and her five-year-old brother went to the church for choir practice and after the rehearsal they asked the pastor for a ride. 

But the Home Court was told that the child, who was a member of the Pentecostal City Mission Church and was baptised by Hanniford was taken to the pastor’s home in Kingston.

“The pastor gave the five-year-old some cornflakes to eat. The complainant requested the use of the bathroom and while there in the bathroom the pastor entered. The complainant was pushed by the pastor outside the bathroom onto a bed that was inside a nearby bedroom and sexually assaulted her,” the ODPP said in the statement.

The Court was told that the child managed to push the pastor off and went outside of the bedroom to meet her brother, who had heard her cries for help.

The statement said that the brother had climbed onto a chair and peeped through a hole in the door and observed Pastor Hanniford sexually assaulting his sister which made him feel “sad”.

According to the evidence presented to the court, after the incident the pastor gave them some cornflakes to eat and later warned the complainant not to tell anyone as it was their “secret”.

He took them back to the church where the mother of the children met them. The complainant’s brother made a report to his mother in the presence of the pastor about what he had seen.

The following day a meeting was convened at the church with the bishop, the pastor, the complainant, her brother and the children’s parents.

On April 14, 2015, a report was made to the police and the pastor was arrested. He was subsequently charged.

In his defence at the trial, the pastor denied having sexual intercourse with the complainant and said that he had given the children a drive out but not on the day in question.

Posted in Court, Crime, Featured, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Narcoitics report

US names a number of Caribbean countries as major drug-transit countries

WASHINGTON, Mar 3, CMC – The United States Friday named several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as major illicit drug producing and  major drug-transit countries with some regional countries also being major money laundering countries,

The US Department of State’s “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR),” notes that the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica, are among 22 countries worldwide considered major drug producing or major drug transit countries.

Narcoitics report“Haiti remains a transit point for cocaine originating in South America and marijuana originating in Jamaica, en route to the United States and other markets. This traffic takes advantage of Haiti’s severely under-patrolled maritime borders, particularly on the northern and southern coasts.

“Haiti is not a significant producer of illicit drugs for export, although there is cultivation of cannabis for local consumption. Haiti’s primarily subsistence-level economy does not provide an environment conducive to high levels of domestic drug use,” Washington noted.

The report notes that Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and local Caribbean islands.

“Although cocaine and synthetic drugs are not produced locally, Jamaica is a transit point for drugs trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets.”

Washington noted that in 2016, drug production and trafficking were enabled and accompanied by organized crime, domestic and international gang activity, and police and government corruption.

The report noted that illicit drugs are also a means of exchange for illegally-trafficked firearms entering the country, exacerbating Jamaica’s security situation.

“Drugs flow from and through Jamaica by maritime conveyance, air freight, human couriers, and private aircraft. Marijuana and cocaine are trafficked from and through Jamaica into other Caribbean nations, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“Jamaica is a transit point for cocaine moving from Central America to the United States, and some drug trafficking organizations exchange Jamaican marijuana for cocaine. Factors that contribute to drug trafficking include the country’s convenient geographic position as a way point for illicit drugs trafficked from Latin America; its lengthy, rugged, and difficult-to patrol coastline; a high volume of tourist travel and airline traffic; its status as a major trans-shipment hub for maritime containerized cargo; inadequate educational and employment opportunities for at-risk youth who engage in crime; and a struggling economy that encourages marijuana cultivation in rural areas.”

The report also named the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as major money laundering countries.

“A major money laundering country is defined by statute as one “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.”

But the report noted that the complex nature of money laundering transactions makes it difficult in many cases to distinguish the proceeds of narcotics trafficking from the proceeds of other serious crime. “Moreover, financial institutions engaging in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds of other serious crime are vulnerable to narcotics-related money laundering.”

Washington said that this year’s list of major money laundering countries recognizes this relationship by including all countries and other jurisdictions, whose financial institutions engage in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from all serious crime.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Health, International, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

DPP at court opening

No retrial for Warren Cassell

By Bennette Roach

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (ECCA) accepted all the arguments that were put forward in presenting the appeal against the Montserrat Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) desire to retry Cassell. The DPP argued generally that “the main consideration is whether in the interest of  the community and  the victim, a person who is convicted of a serious crime  should be brought to justice and not escape merely because of technical shortcomings in the conduct of the trial or in the directions to the jury…”

The appeal court headed by acting President of Appeal Justice Louise Blenman refused DPP Oris Sullivan’s request and his bid to retry Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell, who previously had his conviction squashed by the Privy Council. On Tuesday this week, Cassell was back in court in a bid to fend off this latest bid to have him retried by the Montserrat D.P.P.

Attorney at Law Warren Cassell

The Privy Council in its last ruling, quashing all the convictions, had indicated that any matter to do with a retrial was down to the ECCA. The matter then came back to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal who has ruled that it is not in the interest of justice to order a retrial.

The ECCA judges this time upheld the arguments of Cassell’s Attorney, Dr. David Dorsett arguments in their final decision.

Last July, Attorney Cassell, had multiple convictions quashed by the Privy Council.  Nonetheless, the Privy Council (which is still the final appellate court for the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat) maintained that any issue for retrial should be resolved in the local courts.  As a result, the ECCA invited written arguments from both parties on the issue.

The learned DPP argued that retrial was necessary to establish guilt or innocence of the charges.  However, during his oral presentation, he was asked by Justice Louise Blenman for case law where a retrial was re-ordered in similar circumstances. Mr. Sullivan was unable to provide one.

In his written submissions, Cassell’s Attorney-at-Law Dr. David Dorsett argued that Cassell had served his two-year sentence in full and a retrial would serve no purpose since he cannot be sentenced for any time more than the sentence past in the first trial.

In delivering an oral unanimous ruling, Justice Mario Michel noted that there were several factors that the court ought to consider in deciding whether to order a retrial including:

  • Seriousness of offence
  • Nature of offence
  • Strength of evidence against the appellant
  • Publicity which the trial had obtained and whether it would operate to prejudice the appellant; and
  • Interest of justice.

Justice Michel further reasoned that Cassell had already served his full sentence and that the DPP has failed to provide any case law where a person who served all of his sentence and was still retried.  In conclusion, Justice Michel stated that: “we are of the view that the interest of justice would not be served by ordering a retrial.”   
The Court sought from Sullivan arguments to support his request for a retrial against Dr. Dorsett’s arguments that had been laid prior before them along with those of the DPP.

One argument that Attorney Dorsett, whom the Court told that it was not necessary to address after hearing from the DPP, was “The court did not order a retrial but indicated that the Prosecution was at liberty to do so.,” noting that no re-trial was ever pursued.

He also argued: “…it cannot be maintained that the offences for which the Appellants have been convicted (i.e Conspiracy to defraud and Procuring the Execution of a Valuable Security by Deception), fall into the category of being “serious”.

“While the Appellants are in no way trivializing the said offences an examination of the cases reveal that the courts consider offences such as Murder, Manslaughter, Robbery and Drug Trafficking as serious crimes – offences for which the sentences vary from 20 years to life imprisonment.”

That ends a chapter of Cassell’s life that he says will be very interesting when recaptured in a book. Cassell is the author of several books already, and is the editor at

Posted in Court, Crime, Featured, News0 Comments

court rul

Canadian national pleads guilty in the death of four-year-old boy

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 24, CMC – A High Court has ordered a Canadian national to pay EC$75,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) in compensation to the estate of four year-old Terrel ‘TJ Elibox, who drowned in 2015.

court rulSahab Jamshidi was given the alternative of spending three years in jail if the fine was not paid. He has since paid the money and is due to leave here this week.

The former medical student Tuesday pleaded guilty to causing death by recklessness or gross negligence, 14 months after he pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance.

The prosecution had alleged that Sahab had carried the four-year-old into the sea on a kiteboard on February 22, 2015, without the consent of his guardians, and caused his death.

But Sahab told the court that he kitesurfing with friends in Vieux-Fort, south of here, when he spotted Elibox, who was on a church organised beach outing, in the water and called for help.

The Canadian was formally charged after the boy’s body was discovered two days later.

Posted in Court, Crime, International, Legal, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments


Guyana Soldiers on charges of stealing milk and butter

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Feb 21, CMC – Three soldier are due to return to court here on March 6 after they were charged with stealing milk and butter from the Guyana defence Force (GDF).

crimemeThe soldiers – Victor Logan, 27, Kevin Fitz, 26 and Richard Charles- appeared were released on GUY$50,000 (One Guyana dollar =US$0.004 cents) bail each when they appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates Court caught stealing 11 bags of milk and seven cases of butter from the GDF Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna.

The three were caught goods hidden in a car that they were driving out of the base.

Posted in Crime, Local, Police, Regional0 Comments


Haitian authorities clamp down on brothels


PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 20, CMC – Haitian authorities say they have closed down at least 40 brothels and hotels since the launch of a campaign late last month to clamp down on such establishments.

brothelsGovernment Commissioner Danton Léger and Chief of the Port-au-Prince Public Prosecutor’s Office, say the campaign is against those establishments that do not comply with the law and do not respect the conditions and criteria of operation, including possession of a patent and a visible and explicit commercial plaque on the establishment, indicating their activities.

The authorities had on January 26 given the establishments a 48 hour ultimatum to correct the situation, but to date 41 of them have failed to do so including 30 between February 1-5.

Danton said that once the institutions had complied with the law, the Public Prosecutor’s Office could reconsider its decision and lift the seals. On the other hand, he is warning that he is prepared to prosecute all owners who do not comply with the law or refuse to comply.

He has also warned that the establishments where minors are believed to be engaged in prostitution are being investigated and that severe measures would be taken against the owners and customers of these establishments.

Posted in Crime, General, Local, Police, Regional0 Comments


Police officer charged with murder

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 17, CMC – Police have charged one of their colleagues with murder following a police operation in Marigot, west of here last month.

Police said that Gilroy Gaston, who has been released on EC$15,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) bail, was charged with the murder of 39-year-old Yves Rene alias “Nazarene, who was shot during the operation on January 8.

crimeeeeeThe authorities said that the investigation was launched with the guidance of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The arrest comes as law enforcement authorities here continue to grapple with the so-called IMPACS report that looked at extra-judicial killings here.

In 2013, the St Lucia government enlisted the help of the Jamaican police to investigate the Royal St. Lucia Police Force following a decision by the United States to withdraw security-related assistance after claims of human rights violations.

In August 2013, Washington suspended all forms of assistance to the RSLPF, citing allegations of serious human rights violations.

“The Department of State has made a policy decision to withdraw training and material assistance to the Royal St Lucia Police Force due to credible allegations of gross human rights violations,” the US State Department said in a statement then.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Regional0 Comments


Police arrest British visitor following drug find

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb. 16, CMC –A British woman is scheduled to appear in court in the second city of Montego Bay next week Monday after she was arrested by the police late Wednesday at the Sangster International Airport.

arrestThe police report that the 22-year-old woman from Birmingham, England was held she was found with cocaine and marijuana, as she was about to check in on a flight to Frankfurt Germany.

The police say they found the drugs in tins that were wrapped in foil paper and transparent plastic bags.

Two of the 40 tins were opened and one contained cocaine weighing 34 pounds and the other with six pounds of ganja.

She is facing six counts of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Posted in Crime, International, Local, News, Regional1 Comment


Opposition legislator alleges security forces involved in murders in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 15, CMC – An opposition legislator has suggested that members of the security forces are involved in murders in Trinidad and Tobago.

Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge, who is also a criminal defence attorney, told the Senate on Tuesday that there is only group of people which can carry out such killings without being caught.

Wayne Sturge

“Who among us could carry out murders with such skill and perfection? Who among us has the luxury of training and perfecting their art interrupted without having to look over their shoulders or having to worry about a national security helicopter passing over?

“Is it time Madam President for law enforcement to look inwards, or is it that these killings are being carried out by returning ISIS fighters (from Syria). These are the things we need to know. If we know the causes then we know how we arrive at the solution,” Sturge told legislators.

More than 70 people have been murdered here since the start of the year and Sturge said it is obvious that “many of the drug-related killings may very well be carried out by hired guns”.

He said these hired guns “may well have been…members of the armed forces,” adding that this could be among the reasons why the crime detection is so low here

He posed several questions to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, saying “isn’t it obvious that something is amiss, that something isn’t adding up.

“All this technology and we have the lowest detection rates anywhere. We pay the most money on national security and we get the least results. That can’t continue.

“So I ask is the Minister of National Security knows what is the reason for the Muslim versus Rasta City war, or the reason for the Muslim versus unruly ISIS. Where are all the guns coming from?

“We were given the impression that legislation expanding the remit of the SSA (Special Security Agency) was needed as a matter of urgency that it would go a long way in crime detection and we have in the last nine months since the passage since the exact opposite.”

Sturge said that urgent and important legislation has not yet been proclaimed and that could assist in the fight against crime.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Regional0 Comments


Jamaica police order tints removed from public vehicles

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 14, CMC – Police have announced the immediate removal of tints from public passenger vehicles (PPV) as the authorities implement measures to deal with the recent of recent incidents of women and children being abducted by perpetrators posing as taxi operators.

Last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave instructions for the removal of tints from PPVs and Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Calvin Allen said for motor cars, no tint will be allowed on the back windscreen, no tint will be allowed on the two front windows and no tint will be allowed on the (front) windscreen, except for a six-inch visor from the top.

TintHe told reporters that the requirements for the coaster and minibuses are similar, pointing out that the only difference will be the tinting allowed for the windscreen.

“For the coaster bus, no tint will be allowed on the back glass, nor the two immediate glasses at the side of the vehicle; therefore, there ought to be a clear view on the back seat of those public passenger vehicles,”  Allen said.

“For the glass that is on either side of the vehicle coming up to where the driver sits, a 70 per cent inward view will be allowed. For the driver’s door, that glass should have no tint, neither will there be any tint for the passenger that sits across from where the driver sits, as well as the door that the conductor operates from,” he added.

In terms of the windscreen of the coaster buses, Allen said a nine-inch visor will be allowed and that vehicles with factory tints that are being utilised as PPVs will be given a grace period to become regularised.

“They will go through certain testing by the Island Traffic Authority. If the grade tint that is there is of the required standard, that will be accepted; if  the grade tint that is there is not of the required standard, a twelve-month period is being allowed for the owner/operator to correct and to become legitimate,” he said.

He said operators found in breach will be charged J$2,500 (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) and that fines are expected to increase once the new Road Traffic Act is passed in Parliament.

He said the regulations will also be extended to the State-owned bus entity, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

Transport Authority Chairman, Joseph Shoucair, said he has held talks with various taxi associations outlining the details of the initiatives.

“I am pleased to tell you that the discussions were spirited, cordial and respectful. At the end of the meeting, we were and remain on one accord,” he said, adding that the removal of tints from public PPVs is aimed at assisting with public safety and security.

Last week, police charged two men, including a 31-yeqr-old taxi driver with the murder of 15-year-old secondary school student, Shineka Gray, whose body was found with stab wounds in bushes on February 1.

The partly decomposed body of the grade 10 student of Green Pond High in Hanover. On the north-western tip of the island, was found in bushes in Irwin, a village in the suburban parish of St. James, north-west of here.-

Gray was reported missing after leaving the funeral of a former schoolmate.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

Important Notice