Lawyer files corruption complaint against cop and JP

| 31/03/2015 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service

Attorney Peter Polack

(CNS): A local attorney whose client was subjected to an unlawful search of his home during a suspected drug bust by the RCIPS has filed a complaint to the Anti-Corruption Commission about one of the officers involved in the case, accusing him of misleading the courts, and against the JP who signed the illegal warrant. An outspoken advocate when it comes to injustices, incompetence and police bungling, Peter Polack said he filed the complaint because the responsible authorities continue to turn a blind eye to flagrant abuses of human rights.

Following a catalogue of errors in the case that began with an illegally executed search warrant, included misrepresentation of the events by police to the director of public prosecutions and the courts, and ended with the officer failing to show up at an important legal hearing, the attorney has taken his complaint to the ACC.

Having had no joy for almost a year complaining to either the deputy governor regarding the justice of the peace who signed the illegal warrant or Police Commissioner David Baines regarding the officer’s behavior, Polack filed the complaint with the corruption commission Monday – though Baines chairs that commission.

On 4 September last year in the case of R v Woodman, the Summary Court ruled that a search warrant obtained on 22 November 2013 by DC Winston Harrison from William Wood JP was unlawfully executed. Following that confirmation Polack, who is Woodman’s attorney, raised his first complaints but he says nothing at all has been done to address the significant issues relating to the case.

“The much-heralded Justice of the Peace Regulations of 2013 remain unimplemented and the commissioner of police neither acknowledged nor replied to the complaints for over ten months,” Polack told CNS Monday.

“A court determines that police illegally searched the premises but there is no disciplinary enquiry or sanction. The rule of law has become a rubber band that is stretched while penguins celebrate their gala of poor police performance survey results and an impatient public awaits the departure of a carbuncle on the rear end of the Cayman Islands. No wonder disputes are being settled in the street and shooting victims will not contact the police,” the outspoken attorney added after filing his complaint.

Shortly after the complaint was filled with the ACC Polack received an email from CoP Baines apologizing for the lack of a response to his complaint and assuring the lawyer that the case was investigated. However, the commissioner was unable to give Polack an update and said he was “in the process of chasing up that original action”.

Polack has spent the best part of a year attempting to get someone to take responsibility for the numerous errors and misleading information given to the courts in this particular case and explained Monday that the illegal search warrant was only the start of the issue.

The arresting officer had also claimed via the prosecuting counsel in the case that the suspect was present for the illegal search but the court heard that Woodman had been arrested and removed from the house before police began the search his home, which was confirmed by the RCIPS’ own evidence.

DC Winston Harrison also prepared a misleading summary of facts to the courts, Polack stated, which was recorded in the magistrate’s ruling when his client was eventually bailed. However, Woodman had spent more than eight months on remand at HMP Northward as a result of the misleading information and illegal search warrant, despite numerous bail applications. Eventually documents proving the police errors were placed before the courts and Polack’s client was released from jail in July 2014 after his arrest in September the previous year on drug related charges.

Polack said that the same police officer, DC Winston Harrison, failed to attend court for an important hearing in the case on 30 July, even though a member of Woodman’s legal team had travelled from Jamaica.  On 23 July the police told Polack that Harrison was on sick leave until the end of August and could not attend the hearing.

However, two days later the officer appeared in court on a personal domestic matter before the same magistrate dealing with the case.  When Polack saw DC Harrison walking to the Summary Court with the aid of a crutch, Polack asked to appear before the magistrate to apply for contempt of court proceedings, which was adjourned until Woodman’s trial.

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Category: Courts, Crime, Police

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Peter you a stand up guy an I want to be.
    I and my family are attacked on a regular basis by a group of men that are bent at getting us removed from the island Why because we brought an idea to the island and it was successful They think if we are removed they will own our business. Every time we turn around its another one taking a shot at us. Its very hurtful.
    The deputy Gov was written Eric Wesley and the Govs office they say they will all look into it. I am sure when they do they know that it is ugly and involves their friends. Nothing is done.
    So far we have been asked for payola, Been deported, arrested, threatened with murder.
    robbed etc.
    I wish we did not come to cayman ever, we did make good friends though.
    Some day after we go to court and go back to America I will be a stand up guy like you. In the meantime I am too afraid and don’t have enough money to leave, but I am planning.
    Someday justice will prevail.
    Please Peter keep fighting

  2. Anonymous says:

    All I can speak of is my own experience of a police officer taking my statement in BT a couple of years ago. Something belonging to a friend got trashed by one of the local nutters. My friend calmly tried to reason with him and ask why. The nutter tried to strike my friend in the head with a conch shell and my friend grabbed the nearest thing (a spanner he’d been using to fix my car) and struck back in self defence, hitting the crazy dude in the head, not hard, but enough to draw blood.

    So I went to the station and I gave a statement which took forever for the young man to type. In the next room was the madman giving his statement (ranting). But when I read my statement before signing it was littered with spelling and factual mistakes. I tried to correct but he was taking so long I took the keyboard and fixed it myself. I thought that was the end of it. I was never called to court.

    Months later I find out from my friend he was charged for ABH and (wait for it) attempted murder! Needless to say the last charge failed in court but my friend was convicted of assault. He had been given a copy of my statement and when I looked it became clear to me that the policeman, after I had amended my statement, did not save the changes I had made and had presented for signature the old version which he had typed. I inadvertently signed thinking I was signing a printout of the document I had just amended. The nutter? No charges. Smh.

    I now have NO faith in RCIPS at all, and if this is the way they typically deal with evidence there’s no wonder they can’t secure convictions and no wonder they’re at the bottom of the public opinion polls, and no wonder charges like this are being brought against them. I hope I never have to cross them again they give good British policing a bad name.

    • Rosa says:

      Hallelujah! I couldn’t have said it better myself! It makes you wonder what degenerate pool they sifted through to find the cops they call the RCIPS! Good grief! And I hope that they read these comments and actually look into revamping their idea of what kind of person should be hired to “Listen, Protect and to Serve” because right now I have absolutely no faith in any of them!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stay tuned as the new appeal for recruits will come from Jamaica again, so more incompetence and bias

  4. Anonymous says:

    The entire force for the most part, is full of these types of individuals. Mr Polack is right in all that he stated – They were all at the Ritz celebrating on friday – I guess to them they are doing a spectacular job as they collect easy paychecks and have succeeded in attaching themselves like barnacles to the Cayman Islands.

    While Alden and the PPM slither around quietly. What a shame this nonsense takes place in a first world country – Good reporting CNS, thank you.

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