Webster seeks anonymity over fears of prejudice

| 31/08/2016 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Errington Webster

(CNS): A former senior fireman and one-time political candidate who is charged with four counts of indecent assault is seeking anonymity as a result of the publicity surrounding his case and what he claims could prejudice his right to a fair trial. Errington Webster (54) from Bodden Town made his third court appearance Tuesday, but he has not yet answered the charges against him that relate to allegations that he sexually assaulted an underage teenage girl. The case will be transmitted to the Grand Court after a preliminary enquiry.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats, who heard the case yesterday, told Webster’s attorney that when the case is transmitted, that was where he should make an application regarding the anonymity but he made no such order as he indicated the information was already out there.

Webster’s case has been surrounded by the glare of publicity due to the circulation on social media before his arrest of a smartphone video appearing to show the political hopeful engaging in an indecent act with the young girl. At Webster’s first court appearance, Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez ordered all copies of the footage destroyed and warned members of the public it was an offence to retain or forward the material.

In many sex crime cases the accused are often protected by court anonymity, which is designed to protect the victims not the alleged perpetrators, who are often related to the children involved or, as in some recent cases, they are the victims’ teachers or coaches. But there has been no such order in this case.

Webster was bailed to return to court next month.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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