Senior fire officer denies Heroes Day hit-and-run

| 02/12/2016 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A senior officer with the Cayman Islands Fire Service appeared in court this week in connection with a Heroes Day hit and run in January 2015, when a 14-year-old boy was badly injured. Almost two years after John Bodden was alleged to have hit two brothers riding a bicycle, his trial for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident opened. But according to statements Bodden gave to police, he wasn’t driving the Lincoln Town car that police suspect was involved.

Bodden told the police that at the time of the accident that car, which he did not use very often, was being driven by a casual friend of his who he had picked up a few minutes earlier. He claimed that he had fallen asleep in the car and knew nothing about the collision.

He said that when he woke because his phone was ringing, he saw there was a crack in the car windshield and his friend, whom he named ‘Boojou’, claimed something had fallen off the back of a truck and hit the car.

Bodden said he had told his friend to pull over and they exchanged seats; he moved back into the driver’s side and drove to his home. Despite being angry at Boojou over the damage, he allowed him to take the car to go meet a girl, claiming that he had not seen the rest of the damage to the car until the next day, when he organized for its repair.

He said that if he’d had any idea that the car was involved in a collision, given his role as a firefighter, he would have stopped to help. He told the police he had been to the Heroes Day Parade earlier in the day and sometime later had joined his friends at ‘Da Station’ bar in Prospect before heading home just after sunset.

He said he picked up his Jamaican friend when he spotted him by McRuss’s store. Boojou asked him to take him somewhere but Bodden, who denied having too much to drink, told him he was tired and wanted to go home but that Boojou could borrow the car.

During the interview Bodden was unable to help police with any details about his Jamaican friend, who he believed was in Cayman illegally and was involved in selling weed.

The court also heard that the police investigation into the collision had stalled because the only officer at the scene at the time had not collected details from people who may have seen the accident and the investigators were at first looking for a red SUV. It was several months before people were contacted and the details of a Lincoln Town car being seen at the time of the hit-and-run emerged. Bodden was not questioned about the collision until May, some four months later

Bodden has already pleaded guilty to using a vehicle with an expired licence coupon and using a vehicle without a certificate of roadworthiness. Following the charges against him in July 2015, Bodden was suspended from his senior firefighter post on full pay.

The case continues in Summary Court.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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