Northward inmates could have HR claims, says lawyer

| 01/08/2016 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

HMP Northward

(CNS): The chair of the Human Rights Committee believes the state of the Cayman Islands’ prison is such that inmates could have a good case for a human rights claim. James Austin-Smith told a visiting judge Friday that the decrepit jail was not fit for human habitation. Speaking in mitigation for his client, Robert Aspinall, who is facing several years at HMP Northward after admitting stealing half a million dollars, he impressed upon the judge that his client may have committed a white-collar crime but was not going to the type of facility where he would have an easy time.

Austin-Smith noted that the prison has been condemned by the UK’s prison inspectorate and that the place was a filthy, overcrowded, cockroach infested bleak environment, in which prisoners are kept in cells that are more like cages. He said his client would be doing hard time there, as he pointed out that the court has to consider the Bill of Rights. Attempting to dispel the myth that Northward was some kind of country club, he painted a visual picture for the judge of the reality of Cayman’s jail.

However, the judge pointed out that every man who is sentence by the courts will go to the same place and Aspinall could not be treated differently from anyone else just because the authorities were not capable of holding people in decent conditions.

Austin-Smith agreed but he said he believed all the prisoners that are serving time there could have a human rights case. Pointing out the obligation of the authorities to detain people in humane conditions, he said that HMP Northward fell far short.

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Category: Courts, Crime, Prison

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What you all should be commenting on is that the person’s committing theres crimes and act of violence is sent to this so call caged and roach infested place, by the courts. And living a better life than the honest hard working people in society. As they get free medical, free food, pay and all sort of nice stuff and ohhhh dont forget sleep all day. Talk about hard time. People here is so unreal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is not about race it’s about the attitudes that you have. I was born to mix race also schooled and my church the but everyday I live and work amongst people that think because I he colour of y skin is lighter than they always think they are better but they are shocked by knowledge cause it made up with more common sense.

  3. duh says:

    Well that will teach him not to steal from people! I have no sympathy for the prisoners in Northward as I know many elderly Caymanians that live in similar situations. They do not have AC, rarely can afford pest control services and have never committed a crime! Prison is like a cage, that is the point! He best count his blessing he got treated with special attention and was only given 3.5 years. What little respect I had for him coming clean is gone now after hearing this nonsense. Do the crime pay the time!

    • Anonymous says:

      So, let me get this straight:

      You know of people who are living in horrid conditions so everyone else should?

      Where are you living?

      Please. Be human, since you are so much better than the prisoners who are in jail, because what you just said makes you more of an animal than those you think should live like animals. Or worse.

      KMT. SMH. Caymanians. The descendents of murdering Europeans and Africans slaves…a murderer trapped in its own mind. Dangerous.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And you all call white people racist ? unbelievable , many people on this island are as racist as the kkk, locals are racist against Jamaicans , and others , look in the mirror , and no I could care less about this guy getting time , or where he does it .

    • Anonymous says:

      To be as racist as the KKK would be people on this island lynching the people you claim they are racist against. Bit of a stretch bruv

  5. Anonymous says:

    Human rights eh as you see it the first people to go for human rights is gays and prisoners what happened to the caymanians that were being blocked from certain fields of work certain expatriates some time back.well amigo
    Human rights should be for all not just some of us. The next thing paddie that ain’t a smb hotel its prison may we can do a transfer just like money but with Cuba or jam.

    • Anonymous says:

      Said without even a hint of irony.

      No one’s asking for special treatment. Only the same as everyone else is allowed under the Constitution.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what is a Native Caymanian?

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone who migrated from Pagnea, eventually transiting to the Cayman Islands. Simple enough?

      • Anonymous says:

        Whats Pagnea? Pangea you mean? Bruh, I cant even deal with that answer… native caymanians are all descended from immigrants out of Jam, UK or other surrounding countries, read a book.

  7. Cayman Scotch Tape says:

    Oh how they cry when those of a lighter pigmentation have to go prison in these little isles called Cayman yet its no problem or no compassion or consideration for the pesky native?I heard no cries from the expat gallery when others went down for their crimes!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Natural Rights trumps Human Rights. What about “Native Caymanians” rights? They should have challenged it in 2004!

    • MM says:

      Caymanians like to vote away their rights at the general elections by putting the same politicians who have failed us term after term back in to office to live the high life on tax-payer money. The only challenge that I have seen our people go up against Government on and win was the “tax the expats” scare McKeeva proposed almost ten years ago.

      There was an uproar by locals and expats alike and the “Caymanians and Expats united against taxation” Faceboook group opened and everyone jumped on board.

      WHY is it that this country cannot have the same unified cry and successful outcome on other matters of Government-ruler-ship that afflict the local population?

      It does not take much to sway the Caymanian population – add some free t-shirts. food, balloons and family-friendly entertainment and you are guaranteed to get the Caymanian approval for just about anything.

      It is pathetic how Caymanians have come on this comment strip griping because this man’s lawyer pointed out the living conditions of the prison and this man just happens to be white and expat. If you truly cared about the prison conditions your native people are in then maybe you should have read the reports years ago when they first came out and then action solutions to the problem then by prompting the politicians YOU voted in to do something about it!

      What can we gain by pelting stones at this man and his attorney for standing up in front of a Grand Court judge and bringing to light this issue that our own Caymanian attorneys did not care to discuss on behalf of their Caymanian client? Who’s fault is that? The expat?

      Typical Caymanian mentality – play victim, blame the world, throw your shit in your neighbors backyard and move on to the next complaint.

      And yes I am very much Caymanian by many generations too; I am just honest with myself about our seemingly inherited deficiency of honesty and admittance.

      • Crock O' Shite says:

        I like you! 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        MM – I have been wanting to say the same thing but you have better words than I. I have always wondered why no one has ever addressed the prison.
        Thank you. Now duplicate this and post as a View Point!

        Can’t stand to read how the locals think it’s all a white thing or an expat thing. They are even racist against their own people according to skin color. I have seen that since the day I arrived in the early 90’s.
        I’m here to stay though hoping it will get better. Especially now that Dart is here to throw his cash at the politicians (and whoever else wants to sell their heritage).

  9. Anonymous says:

    Prison is not supposed to be a place one likes, otherwise it would not be a deterrent and if he complains about Northward then let’s send him to HONDURAS or Jamaica. Get the picture?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think the angry people here have missed the point that the lawyer was trying to make. Just because he was the first lawyer to bring it up. And the fact that James IS HRC.. Oh, nevermind,

  11. Anonymous says:

    But wait just a few months ago northward was called a hotel.

    What happened. Was this just another negative post.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The truth will set you free

  13. Sharkey says:

    I think that when the court convict and send one that is a very intelligent and educated as this white collar CPA criminal to prison , that the public shouldn’t have any sympathy for them . I think that public criticism along with prison time should make a better human being when his time is up .

  14. Anonymous says:

    I know a few ex-ministers and attorneys that should be up there.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It is the duty of a lawyer to point out all of these things. Just shows Canover had a bad lawyer if he couldn’t think of this. I’m sure being that he’s a Caymanian that it would have worked and the politicians would have built a new prison immediately.

    What you all need to take away from this article is that the CIG is going to get sued by someone eventually.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Move them to the turtle farm, that’ll do it…oh…wait, didn’t some group say the conditions there were inhuman? Seems to be a common theme in Cayman–Human Rights, Animal Rights ignored and that situation condoned by the CNS Readers Intelligentsia hereon….most of you don’t realize that your Human Rights are trampled on every day in Cayman and yet you put up with it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the criminals’ rights… that’s what we should be worried about! Unbelievable… just shut it and tell your client if he didn’t want to be treated like a criminal he should not have broken the law!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well northward didnt take heed when the Uk told them the prison was condemned, so i guess the government will be learning once a civil case is filed and they pay out 1/2 million to this guy because of Human rights violationes soooo he will be walking away with more money. Then every other prisioner follows suit and collects, how long before were back in debt?good job guys keep it up

  19. Anonymous says:

    Human rights only trips in when it comes to the mighty Aspinalll. Too many white collar crimes have been and are being committed by those criminals and they are let off the hook. Allowed to get bail and abscond or given time to leave and act like they were investigating. Are we so naive to believe that they are all above board?

    • Anonymous says:

      We are so, so, fortunate that not one Caymanian politician has EVER committed a white collar crime in the last 50 years.Caymanians should be truly proud that they lead the world in having the most honest representatives on the planet.If only they could spend more time solving our problems rather than scratching eachother’s backs.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is the lawyer trying to pave the way for that thief? Northward Prison is the ideal place for him. He is no different from any other criminal, who commits a crime, he must serve the time. Get over it.

  21. Marrie says:

    Hang on. Isn’t that the purpose of jail? It is not meant to be your home but a deterrent…not only for the person serving the sentence but also for those who may be considering committing a crime.

  22. Anonymous says:

    yawn…they have it too easy as it is…..

  23. Sharkey says:

    I am very happy that the Judge see that there’s no difference between a white collar criminal and regular criminal , and that they all should go live and eat the same food in prison.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Where was Austin Smith sympathy for those held in “inhuman conditions” before this Ivy league thief has been faced with the same prospects? Enjoy your stay at Northward as people always claim its a hotel up there, maybe you can fill out a survey on how you rate the accommodations at Cayman infamous “Northward Hotel”. Its a hotel when locals and Jamaicans are going but when its time for the preppy blonde guy to go, its hell on earth!

    Double standards and feeling of entitlement from the boozy embezzler.

    The Truth!

  25. KARMA 345 says:

    “Can’t do the time don’t do the crime!”

    Nobody goes to jail by accident they broke the law and found guilty by the justice system. A custodial sentence is a direct result of your actions so suffer the consequences. Once Aspinall has served his time he must be deported to his country of origin.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait for all the pitchfork comments from the locals. Mean ol’ group when the topic is an expat.

    • Anonymous says:

      There was no similar uproar about the conditions of the prison when Canover was sent there. If any of them prefer the comforts of home, they should keep their sticky little fingers to themselves. Aspinall was probably being overpaid for his mediocrity just like Canover and Michael Levitt so no sympathy here.

      • Anonymous says:

        What uproar are you talking about? His lawyer merely made a point that ANY lawyer is entitled to make. If Canover’s lawyer didn’t make the point, whose problem is that? Who cares. It was a point being made about the conditions that ALL are living under out there. He never said that his client shouldn’t be sent there.
        The uproar is all the commenters (that are Caymanian) roaring that it was against ALL human rights.
        PAY ATTENTION people!!!!
        My uproar about Canover was his crime against this entire country and he got a slap on the wrist. And didn’t he plead stupidity, I mean, not guilty????!!!?!?!?!?!!?
        At least this guy pled guilty. (And you people complaining about that too!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical ExpatKind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes I notice that too. Sad but true. Anti-expat is the name of the game.
      And I am 3rd generation Caymanian

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s a jail for crying out loud! Not meant to be comfy or welcoming. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Point blank. PERIOD.

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