Lawyer guilty of GBH, reckless driving

| 17/06/2016 | 136 Comments
Cayman News Service

Ford Mustang involved in the crash that injured two tourists, shown her in local car show

(CNS): A jury took just a few hours to find corporate lawyer Simon Courtney (50) guilty of GBH and reckless driving in connection with a car crash in January 2015 outside the Villas of the Galleon. Courtney lost control of his special edition 633HP Ford Mustang sports car as he was leaving the Ritz-Carlton following a $125 champagne brunch and ploughed into two tourists walking along the pavement. Cathy and Richard Schubert were heading to dinner at the Sunshine Suites when Courtney mowed them down, causing them both serious injury.

Courtney, dressed in a grey suit, remained perfectly still as the verdict was read to the court. He was bailed to return on 25 July for sentencing after his attorney asked for a social enquiry report.

Courtney, who works at Forbes Hare, had denied the charges and claimed he had not been drunk at the time and had lost control of the car as a result of a technical problem with the wheel and tyres on the sports car. He also denied deliberately leaving the scene of the accident to avoid a breath-test, claiming he had left the scene to phone 911 because he did not have a mobile phone with him at the time but he became disoriented caused by shock and an injury he said he sustained in the crash.

Cayman News Service

Simon Courtney

But CCTV footage and witnesses to the incident painted a different picture and indicated that Courtney, rather than seeking help was looking to get away from the scene, and remained at large until after 5:00 the morning after the crash. He admitted waking up under a bush on the Britannia golf course covered in blood, mud and sand before making his way home. Courtney claimed that he went to the police station around 7am but said he was sent away to return that night. However, there was no record of him going to any police station at that time.

Following a call to his wife from the investigating officer on the case later that day asking for him to come in, Courtney accompanied by his attorney, met with police some 24 hours after the crash. He also claimed that he had attended hospital and suffered a concussion but no medical evidence was placed before the court to substantiate the claim.

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Comments (136)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of Ted Kennedy and the dead girl in Chappaquiddick. Another self-serving lawyer bent on saving his own privileged ass even though a woman drowned in his car as he fled the scene. People who think like this are truly pathetic human beings. And here we have another example of the privileged ( and oh so educated ) class looking to avoid responsibility.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Simple Simon met the bobby after falling drunk in a ditch,
    said the bobby to simple Simon you are nicked and lifes a bitch.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Better Call Saul!

  4. Sharkey says:

    I hope that other people like him is reading all these comments to see how people feel and think of them when they comit’s such despicable crime and actions .

  5. Naya Boy says:

    Well Simon Coutrney its time to use the Expat Get Out Of Jail Free Card and join the gallery of suspected Roques & Vagabonds who did the same. I hope CNS will allow me since these names are all in the public domain. Shawn Mourao-suspected of Rape, Arthur Screaton-suspected of Theft, Ryan Bateman -suspected of domestic Violence Assault, Sue Nicholson- suspected of fraud, Richard Hurlstone-suspected of Abduction, Craig Gaskill-suspected of Theft. These are the more recent ones, there many others over the past 20 years. Yes and we wonder why juries left some obvious criminals off Expats seldom go to jail or even make to the courts. Justice is not blind in Cayman it too has absconded for most Caymanians and some residents nowdays.

  6. Sharkey says:

    By the time the Judge Finnish sentencing him , and people Finnish say what needs to be said about this despicable full grown child , he should be a changed child and ready to grow up .

  7. Anonymous says:

    i really hope this mans lack of integrity and manipulating of events following the accident doesn’t serve in allowing him to escape the proper penalties. That would be the real tragedy (of course with those injured in mind) in presenting articulation to others who might find themselves in a similar situation. Members of the jury please set the precedent whilst the opportunity presents itself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Simon, I want to tell you a story. More than 10 years ago, I was involved in a DUI. Fortunately no one was hurt except a brick in a wall.
    I spent the weekend in jail. Yes my head hurt and I gave the guy in the cell next door my breakfast. I was very hungover.

    I was then charged and told to show up for court which I did on several occasions.
    Every time my hearing came up, it seemed to be postponed. I would sit in the court, hear cases and then be sent home.
    I kept thinking to myself how I could use the letter of the law to escape my sentence.
    After all, the police arrested me in my home after I had arrived.
    It was nothing to say that I had a drink after I arrived?
    Except that was not the truth.

    After my several visits to court, I quickly realised that the best way was to tell the truth.
    So finally, my day in court came. I stood up and said, “Your Honour, I was drunk, I had no business driving in that condition and I sincerely hope that it will never happen again.”

    I walked out of Court with a driving ban and a minimum fine.
    The judge obviously appreciated my honesty.

    Simon. You made a mistake. We all make mistakes. We are all human.
    I am sure that the victims of your accident can find it within themselves to forgive you.
    This world is not an easy place.

    I am sure that you have already reached out to the unfortunate recipients of your poor judgement and offered them your apologies.

    I hope and pray that you use the rest of your life to honour and respect the truth.
    After all, it is the foundation of your profession.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to Cayman’s legal fraternity and encourage them to be homing missiles for the truth.
    Let us stop thinking that twisting words makes truth. It does not. Truth makes truth and that is that.

    • Kennedy says:

      @6.20pm Well said!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        You gotta give Courtney credit, he had his whole story worked out….walked away knowing damn well he was drinking…lying about going to the hospital and police station. I am sure if he went in the way he “said” he looked at the police station they wouldn’t tell him to come back knowing he was in a car accident and I am sure the hospital would remember him coming in getting checked out and diagnosing him. Does he think the courts are that stupid??? Just come clean admit you screwed up and stop wasting time. If you had been honest from the start it may have not gone this far I hope they slap the maximum on you. Lying to the courts your ass should do sometime in our wonderful prison here!

  9. Anonymous says:

    “…..there is no denying that the culture of moral, Christian-based values throughout common Caymanian society safeguards against an overrun of such individuals.”

    I must say that I am deeply disappointed in the tone of many comments on this article. Is there no compassion in this “Christian-based” society? There is no denying that this man’s actions were not representative of what we would all consider as honorable. The hurt to the victims goes without any need to further describe. Our hearts go out to them both and their family.
    For those who are perfect, have never made a mistake, ok, go ahead and rant about Mr. Courtney’s severe error in judgement, his possible drunk driving, leaving his wife and victims at the scene of an accident, no admission of guilt, no sign of remorse. This man leaves a lot of material with which to work.
    God-fearing Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who submit to the Will and Compassion of a higher authority might take this opportunity to display to Mr. Courtney and his loved ones just how such a faith works. It is easy to berate, not so easy to offer an outstretched hand to someone who has committed such unacceptable acts.
    I am not an expat, nor a resident of this beautiful island, just a visitor. I wonder if Mr. Courtney witnessed a more ‘Godly’ response from those he has hurt, maybe he might reflect on his own actions, his subsequent behaviour and the obvious absence of a religious guidance in his life.
    If his case is not successfully appealed, he should take whatever is awarded to him by the court as punishment. When he does, will the good people of this Christian-based society, be there to help him or celebrate his downfall?
    May the good Lord help him and all of you find peace.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are on the wrong thread. The Christian-based society is too busy commenting on gay issues to read what you have said.

      • Anonymous says:

        I respect the opinion of respondents. I realize now that I don’t fit into this society. Time to move on. I wish you all well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give me a break guy.
      We can rest assured that individuals like the convicted have never reached out to the wider community for advice or assistance as he manoeuvred his way to “success” – yet we are now being called upon to show him how to be a decent human being?!

      Sorry, but I am not MLK Jr. and I don’t sing Kumbuya.

      He was fully aware of the callous nature of his series of selfish steps following the accident. We don’t need to employ “the word” to help him see the error of his ways.

      Eff’ him. And I would say the same to any other person.

      He is now at the mercy of the judge and courts. (However, if history is anything to go by, that may be a very forgiving place considering his background.)

      – YaDunKnow

      *Re-reading your post. I mussy look like rass’clat Mudda Teresa. No sah…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I look forward to reading the comments from these same Caymanians when (if ever) there own are prosecuted for not so recent hit and runs involving fatalities.

  11. Sharkey says:

    I think his behavior is despicable all around . Let’s just watch and see if the Judges sentencing reflects all the despicable behavior of this inhumane animal.

  12. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Remember “they re here for us ” another one bites the dust another one bites the dust and another one is gone.Its arrogant expat lawyer pricks just like courtney who come here and drive up our insurances rates and because he was not found to be drunk because he left the scene the insurance company will pay have to pay this enormous claim. A little time in prison with “those people” will do him the world of good? Of course that will be after the numerous appeals and the old wealthy expat option of absconding on bail and leaving the jurisdiction.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comments.

    However, this case has helped to illustrate the type of character and personality that is often primary to the evolution of a “successful” professional in this particular industry of ours.
    Granted this is a rare example, whereby referenced qualities are put on display for all to see, but rest assured, this individual fits in quite comfortably with his inner circle of like-minded colleagues. (Not a shred of remorse, compassion or empathy from the moment of impact to the verdict of guilty. An absolute mission of self-preservation throughout.)

    This is but one reason why Caymanians should not be offended by misplaced criticisms of our people not possessing the “skills and qualities” to hold certain positions and roles in related industries.
    (Of course every community produces an a-hole now and then, however there is no denying that the culture of moral, Christian-based values throughout common Caymanian society safeguards against an overrun of such individuals. In fact, some may argue that these very values formed the basis of gaining the reputation of being “warm and friendly” from visitors and onlookers.)

    This disgusting, hollow, prick of a human being is nothing any child should aspire to emulate – Caymanian or otherwise.

    I sincerely hope true and fair justice is served in this case and I wish the injured a full and healthy recovery.

    – YaDunKnow

    • Datisme says:

      Eats you up inside that he not British though, nah true?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lawyers also deal with incredible amounts of stress and have double the rate of alcoholism as the general population. When you get as far up the pole as Simon did, there is no choice but to keep climbing, no matter what tests your integrity. You have a family to feed, debts to pay, a reputation to maintain, earning power to preserve etc. Speaking from the inside of the profession, and also not being British, I agree with you that these factors can compromise integrity. It’s all-or-nothing. The social inquiry report will be very interesting as I suspect Simon has an addiction to alcohol. If he does, that will be taken into account by the judge because it would explain why he was so very, very determined to get away with this.

      • Anonymous says:

        2 people suffered life-changing injuries, 2 others could have also been injured or killed (the convicted and his wife), yet some are choosing to focus on the personal issues of the guilty?


        If only we applied such compassion and empathy to our local, marijuana smoking 18 year olds. Maybe we wouldn’t be throwing away so many of their futures and compelling to a future with a “criminal conviction”.

        Simon is a grown-ass man that knows better. Even if he was too drunk to drive (while awaiting charges on previous offence) he was clearly not too drunk to quickly conjure up a plan to try to get away scot free.

        His actions on the day were as dangerous as a criminal firing a gun into a crowd.
        He receives no pity from me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I know a specific Caymanian lawyer that is one of the the biggest crooks on the islands.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why were his Passport and any other travel documents not forfeit to the Court/Police, pending sentencing.
    The person mentioned in another headline story had his Passport seized, and he has not yet appeared in Court.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I unfortunately had the displeasure of knowing this despicable creature and like the rest of the Caymanian population could see through this pack of lies. Am just grateful the jury saw through it. We can only hope the sentencing reflects the severity of the crimes he committed and justice is served to the poor Americans who were so lucky to escape with their lives. Unfortunately the memories they have of such a beautiful island are destroyed by this jumped up selfish cowardly individual.

  17. Anonymous says:

    These people never claim responsibility for their actions.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians have killed people while driving drunk and been out in two years.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not always the case bud

      • Anonymous says:

        A Member of ExCo and former Financial Secretary killed a fellow Caymanian many years ago in a traffic accident where alcohol was VERY strongly suspected. Hushed up. The Lodge intervened.We all knew about it but Cayman was a bit different in those days. A bit.

    • Anonymous says:

      This means that a precedent has been set, and this foreigner will be out in 1 year.

    • Anonymous says:

      If that had any truth whatsoever, idiot, it would have absolutely nothing to do with a drunken, supposedly mature and professional Australian mowing down TWO innocent pedestrians and then running for all he is worth from the consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or been found not guilty all together.

    • Anonymous says:

      That may well be true, but even if the jail sentence is only for two weeks there is a message in that and he will be left with a permanent memory of that day, just as the innocent victims will also carry memories of that fateful day for the rest of their lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      Racist bigoted idiot! Race doesn’t have nothing to do with it and if cayman was like Dubai you’d be deported the next day for your hateful/racist comments.

      • Anonymous says:

        If Cayman was like Dubai we’d have public executions on the side of the road for sneezing in the wrong direction.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Simon, as a fellow Australian you disgust me.
    You are a disgrace to your country, your profession and your wife.
    Whilst I doubt you will debarred I sincerely hope the courts inform your professional body down under about your digesting behavior.

    • Ed says:

      Digesting behaviour? His professional body won’t swallow that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh. I had automatically assumed he was English. Is that racist of me? But the Australians are the worst. Oops. There I go again. No wait. Anyone who drives a Ford. The absolute lowest of the low. Wait. A lawyer you say? Scummier than a parrot fishes poop. Christ, I hope I haven’t offended anyone.

      • Anonymous says:

        Parrot fish poop sand.

      • Anonymous says:

        This scumbag is technically from the UK but grew up in Australia, not all of us from the UK or Australia should be tarnished with the same brush as him. He is out on his own. The man has no integrity, I should know I was a victim of such,

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ll go ahead and guess the Cayman judicial system will give this assh*le 10 months behind bars. What he did was bad enough but the fact that he left his wife behind at the scene and left 2 people potentially dying on the side of the road to save his own ass speaks volumes about his character. XXXXX Should get minimum 10 years. He was willing to let 2 people die.

  21. Anon. says:

    People, he is a liar, uh I mean lawyer. He knew exactly what needed to be done in order to try to beat this but thankfully the jury is smart enough to see through his stories. He knew immediately after the crash that it was bad, he was in a lot of trouble and his “lawyer skills” kicked into high gear.

    Get away from the scene so that the cops can’t do a Breathalyzer test and also give himself time to think and come up with a “plausible” story.
    Unfortunately the world we live in is filled with people who are selfish and only look out for themselves. He wasn’t interested in telling the truth, owning up to what he had done and sparing these people from re-living that horrible vacation.

    My heart goes out to the couple who came here to have an enjoyable, relaxing vacation and instead ended up in a nightmare due to some highly paid, fancy lawyer drinking up a storm then stupidly deciding to drive.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What happens about the other driving related charges that he was out on bail for when this accident happened?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why wasn’t he charged with leaving the scene of an accident?

    CNS Note: That charge is a summary only offence and in this case it is still pending in the summary court despite being related to the Grand Court charges.

  24. Anonymous says:

    As far as I can ascertain, he has still not faced the court on a DUI charge from two years before this incident. CNS, can you find details on this earlier charge that was adjourned for years. If he had faced the earlier charge then this felony may never have happened. Also, when will the fireman answer to the court for his hit and run on heroes day?

    • Anonymous says:

      An interesting observation & worthy to note for the future. If Mr Courtney is after the facts listed here found to have been at fault & also guilty on a prior charge or offence ( reading legal counsel chop in here, anytime ) & prosecution would have had him facing a ban on driving that would have been current , in so far as having him off the road on the date of this accident that lead to injuries ,the unfortunate injuries the couple faced would have been avoidable. It opens the door to some interesting civil action lawsuits. I have no doubt the injured parties in this accident will seek such claim in the near future . I wonder which local insurance firm covered the 3rd party policy on the Shelby?

  25. Anonymous says:

    lawyers = liars…….

  26. says:

    Reading his catalogue of lies and deceit really makes me feel sick, cowardly and lied right through this, desperately trying to get away, what a fool. I hope he gets what he deserves.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why is he not in person yet? How is he still on bail when the jury has found him guilty?

  28. Anonymous says:

    *Free Courtneh*

  29. Anonymous says:

    So many lawyers in Cayman, especially expat lawyers think they are the exemption of the law, how they communicate about judges and the juridical system and how it can be scammed after one hour of happy hour is just dispectiable, to a point where local lawyers hire expat laywers to represent their cases as they know they are not able to match their non existing conscience and ruthlessness.

    Just saw Michael Levet at Fosters walking down the aisle purchasing groceries, as the jail only offers a limited supply of goods, part of the rehabilitation system i was explained!

    • Anonymous says:

      “especially expat lawyers think they are the exemption of the law” Really? A little racist I would say.
      “local lawyers hire expat lawyers” This makes them just as greasy a an expat lawyer. Just not as skilled at their job.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a racial comment, typical.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do we care if Michael Levitt is suitably rehabilitated!?! We just want him deported then he can be a problem for his own people not us.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I hope deportation is ordered. Smug ba$tard.

  31. Anonymous says:

    What a dispicable person! Hopefully the sentence reflects the gravity of his actions.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Why was he not charged with leaving the scene of an Accident???

  33. Anonymous says:

    If he had a machete and a shot gun in his car, wore his pants down his ass and called the judge “yo bredrin” he might have got away with it!

  34. whatever says:

    Had this middle-aged cretin been driving a van (SOBER), a vehicle more suited for his age, chances are this never would have happened. Vanity!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Is the car up for sale? 635hp

  36. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I don’t believe a word of this guys story. Other than he went to the brunch. He got loaded , screwed up, and should now pay for it. That story was so full of sh*t. What a lying lawyer. No shock. Toad. Lock him up in northward with the rest of them for being such an ass.

  37. Anonymous says:

    another employed criminal…. anyone noting the trend? don’t assume the crimes whether white collar or otherwise are by unemployed, they probably lack the ambition anyway

  38. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it’s simply time to ban high performance cars from these islands? What excuse is there for driving 600+HP cars on our roads anyway?

    • Dom says:

      What an idiotic comment. Why didn’t you say, “ban alcohol”. Or would you like to ban the gun, the bullet or the user of both. Hahaha

    • Anonymous says:

      The horsepower had nothing to do with it. He was simply a drunk behind the wheel. You are confused, my friend.Think about it.

  39. Sharkey says:

    I don’t understand why the Judge didn’t order his passport and driver license to be taken away , in the condition of his bail . If he skip country the Judge should be held accountable , because the jury has done their duty in the conviction to show that no one is above the law .

    • Anonymous says:

      No one except an apperantly golden-tongued,home schooled guy from west bay that sleeps on a couch with a gun under it.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Let us keep attracting the best and brightest the world has to offer.

  41. Anonymous says:

    His defence was certainly entertaining. He could have included something about a fairy godmother, a poison apple or a magic beanstalk. Still, as fairy tales go he still did a pretty good job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounded like a yard from the bible!

      • Anonymous says:

        A yard? Closer to a metre I’d say. Perhaps it was a vineyard?
        Is there no ignorance filter for some of these pathetic comments from people who have never read a book in their lives or are we just being dumbed down in our “anything goes if it feels right” society?
        Buck up!

  42. Anonymous says:

    I hope this heartless, horrible man gets sent to prison. He’s ruined the lives of the poor couple who were walking along the pavement hand in hand and he has some audacity to make up such a pathetic cover story. If only his conscience matched the size of his forehead.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Surely there is sufficient evidence to charge him for DWI as well. And surely his obvious attempts and actions and lies and excuses to avoid a breath test should make this a foregone conclusion?

    • Allar says:

      You can’t charge for DWI if there was no specimen of blood, breath or urine taken from the suspect after the accident. And at that it would have had to be a reasonable time after.

    • Anonymous says:

      And surely he should also be charged with leaving the scene of an accident!

    • Ironside says:

      Unfortunately, in this case, no. You would need to actually ‘catch’ him Over the -legal alcohol limit- and operating a vehicle on public, Gazetted roadways/carriageways.

      Speculation just isn’t going to be enough in a court of law.

      In the public’s opinion, well, have at him.

      Leaving the scene of an accident like he was involved in and was the actual driver, can carry stiff consequences or lengthy jail sentence, as much or worse if one was charged with DWD and had an accident and then fled the scene without a Credible reason as to why.

      But he tried, didn’t he. 😉

  44. Anonymous says:

    Justice is served here, but what about other hit and runs that seem to disappear under the carpet after someone is caught and there is zero publicity after the event, in contrast to this one.The cases I refer to have involved locals.
    In a similar vein we had two senior staff employed by the Immigration Dept suspended some considerable time ago but not a word in the press, since.Then there’s the case of a doctor who alledgedly botched a patient’s tracheotomy, not a word from the hospital until the details were exposed at the Coroner’s inquest in Britain, then we were promised an enquiry, but 16 months after the incident, not a word.

    • Anonymous says:

      Justice is not served until a sentence is handed down that matches the crimes.

      Anything less than a meaningful custodial sentence is simply not acceptable.

      We will see.

      The other cases that you referred to must also be properly adjudicated. Apparently it takes a long time to put these cases before the court, as also occurred in this instance where some 18 months has passed.

      Again, we will see.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have forgotten the double standard rule.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a big difference between Caymanian and Expat sentencing here. Everyone knows it. Hard to hide it. Third world rules. Part of living here. Expats don’t even think about breaking the laws and getting caught. Caymanians can have a loaded shotgun with your DNA on it and they just take it away.

  45. Marcia says:

    Due to his behaviour after the accident, it seems to me that he felt as if he was exempt from the law because of who he is, his profession, who his employers are and possibly his financial status. I sure hope he is unable to ascertain any future work permits. He committed a felony when he ran away from the scene of the accident. Therefore, he must be viewed as an fellon and as such an undesired work permit holder in these islands.

    I trust that Mr. Schubert has fully recovered.

    • Kelly says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised that he’s not caymanian already. Remember you get PR and Status based on your wallet size and who you connect to. Based on how intimately he knows the Golf course even in his unconscious state the boy is well connected and the wallet is nice size.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also , an undesirable for being a member of the bar. This individual should be disbarred here as well as the U.K. for this felony conviction . Just an unbelievable example of self entitlement to evade prosecution on display here and worse , no regard for the victims , no regard for court due process , no regard for the law.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Was definitely not the first time a Cayman Lawyer woke up in the Bushes!

  47. Anonymous says:

    If you are going to tell a story, at least make it believable…

  48. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the sentence will fully reflect (1) the harm inflicted on the victims, (2) his total lack of remorse and (3) his entirely implausible defense.

    • Anonymous says:

      10 years should do!

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought he aologised to the victims after the incident.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention , his wasting of Crown resources at pleading not guilty. There should be other convictions here , leaving the scene of an accident , in itself a serious offence ( in any country) intentionally hampering a police investigation . I look forward to reading the judge sentencing.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Poor old chap… He’s learned that hard way that driving skills don’t come with the wallet size.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Good! He’s guilty as sin and the concussion he claims to have had was a hangover!

    Take yah licks boy!!

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