All hit-and-run lawyer’s appeals rejected

| 06/04/2017 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service

Simon Courtney is led out of the courthouse in handcuffs, July 2016

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has rejected all eight grounds of appeal submitted by former corporate lawyer Simon Courtney (51) in relation to his convicted of causing GBH to an elderly couple visiting Cayman in 2015 when he crashed his souped-up Mustang near the Ritz-Carlton. In a written ruling delivered via the Grand Court on Thursday, the appeal court dismissed his claims that his three-year sentence was too high as well as rejecting all the arguments against conviction.

The 36-page ruling sets out the appeal court’s position on each of the submissions made on behalf of Courtney by his defence attorney, Laurence Aiolfi, most of which were described by the panel of judges as having either no merit or no substance.

The appeal court rejected any idea that the trial judge had misdirected the jury in any way or caused any prejudice in his summing up. The panel of senior judges also described the submissions that the case should never gone to the jury as “surprising”, given that no argument was ever made to the judge at the trial that the case should have been stopped for lack of evidence or any other reasons.

Dismissing all of the arguments in the appeal and upholding the convictions for inflicting grievous bodily harm and reckless driving, the judges also upheld the sentence. The appeal court said that “the sentence was not even arguably manifestly excess”, as they rejected the entire appeal.

At the time of his conviction, the trial judge said the former offshore lawyer had been convicted on the clearest possible evidence.

Courtney was found to have ploughed into Cathy and Richard Schubert, who suffered dreadful injuries, when he lost control of his sports car on the West Bay Road after a champagne brunch at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Believed to have been drunk at the time, based on witness evidence, he fled the scene and remained missing until the early hours of the next morning. He denied being drunk and despite the evidence against him, has remained steadfast in his claims of innocence, refusing to accept responsibility for the injuries he caused to the visiting couple.

Courtney has been in jail since his conviction in July 2016, and under the new Conditional Release Law can expect to go before the board for consideration for early release after serving 60% of his term, which falls in April of next year. Under the new legislation, a prisoner cannot be automatically released early but must demonstrate to the board they are fit to return to the community and will remain on licence until their full sentence is complete — risking a return to jail to finish the time should they commit any new offence, as well as any relevant new sentence.

Courtney was also convicted of a second DUI and speeding offence in Summary Court, which he has also appealed. However, the sentence in that case was ordered to run concurrently with the Grand Court sentence and will not impact his release.

See the Court of Appeal ruling in the CNS Library

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Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS: Can we please have the “LOL” button back???

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, indeed. My life has become ever grayer since CNS deleted it, As one whose sense of self-worth very much depended on a high LOL score for my comments, its absence is wreaking havoc with my overall well-being, to the extent that I am considering suing CNS for damages..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Man up dude. You made a mistake, and made up some absurd story (note….if you wake up in the bushes of Brittania….probably got some explaining to do…).

    Do your time like a man. You look like a crazy fool. At least your prisonmate Rob Aspinall humbly admitted guilt and is taking his punishment like a man. You are just a sleazy worm (in your other DUI case… cellphone in my pocket caused an improper reading).

    It’s a disgrace that Cayman tax payers have to pay your room and board at Northward.

    • Anonymous says:

      Phew! I was extremely worried your opening directive was aimed at me. What a relief (and help). I agree totally with your sentiments that follow (except for the absence of a comma after “up”).

  3. Anonymous says:

    The people who comment to this thread love to bash this person for being a drunk expat lawyer who got caught. How many fatal driving accidents have occurred where the drunk driver hid away and tried to get their car fixed on the slide? Or how many have driven just as drunk only to not have hit someone…yet.
    Take the beam out of your own eye.
    If you drink and drive you have nothing to preach about.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think this is one thing that Caymanians and expats like me can agree on, he should be deported. He brings shame on all expats with his lying cheating ways. I hope the couple affected can fully recover and move on, or sue him in a civil case.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Drunk locals kill and then plaster Facebook with pictures of how they are enjoying college life in Canada a few years later.

  6. Knot S Smart says:

    I bet he could do with a good strong drink now…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Simply the worst kind of human being and I use that term loosely for this lawyer scum

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well he might as well admit he was drunk now and sue the Ritz for letting him drink too much.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope this piece of excrement will be deported at the end of his prison term. Persona non grata.

    • Anonymous says:

      Deported and the UK needs to be advised for conviction and antics here so he be disbarred in the UK also!

      • Lime-ee says:

        What part of he’s not from the UK is it that you find so hard to understand? I know we all look the same to you but still!

  10. Gray matter says:

    No merit or substance… like his Ritz Brunch.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is no coincidence that one can also spell a four letter derogatory term for an unpleasant or stupid person out of his name.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Those are the type of people (THE RICH) Cayman is catering for. They are the ones who will get PR without even an application submitted. What a wicked man he is. Take your loss like a boss and stop the bawling. He should have gotten more years! POMPOUS self!

    • Anonymous says:

      If that was true he wouldn’t be in prison…however I agree in certain cases you might be right

  13. Caymanian says:

    I knew him from Forbes Hare and he was a d!ck then and still is. Some lawyers are scum….he’s is right there.

    • Australian says:

      I knew him from the law firm he worked at in Australia. Immature and lied shamelessly to try to get himself out of trouble. He would have sold his grandmother to save his own skin.

  14. BiG Jay says:

    One of Cayman’s worst expat drivers and biggest now convicted idiot rises yet gain.Simon Coutrney clearly needs to be deported after he is sued for every one cent he has?

  15. frangipani says:

    perhaps a little penitence would have been nice too. Hope he learns his lessons.

    • Sharkey says:

      That going to those Sunday brunch can take away alot from you, if you are ever so stupid and arrogant.

  16. Karmasutranamastele says:

    Justice is served #kapow

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad to see the rich get treated like a local if he’s guilty, take dat lol!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Good. This is a good start.

    However, the now more pressing question is; Has he been struck off as a legal professional?

    – Who

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess he has lost his job as he ‘qualified’ for & received legal aid…..why wasn’t he forced to sell assets to pay for the foundless appeals? Might have stopped this waste of court time and the cost to the country. Hope he is immediately deported when released on parole

  19. Mr Peabody Slick says:

    Oh Dear Mr Coutney the whiner dont like his accomodations yes shay whitey says it is inhumane for his kind to be locked up and deprived of his right to drink.How dear they jail one of us, what is Cayman coming too

    • Get off your stool and help says:

      “his Kind” what the heck does that mean? Unless he is talking about drunken, whiney, lawbreaker, spoiled beyond belief, I don’t know what he means.

      To me, the threat of being thrown in a CI prison certainly makes me certain to be aware of LOCAL laws and obey them! I’d say that would be good advice to all people living on these islands.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Free bagels!

  21. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty unbelievable that an attorney could think he would win/successfully appeal this case. Appears cut and dried to me. Return him to whence he came.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think he was applying his legal brain, I think he hoped to apply the affluenza defense. Go rub your time sir and hopefully he is removed from the roll. He is/was a litigator and knows leaving the scene is a no no. He left because he knew if they tested him he’d be over the limit for alcohol. He doesn’t care about the damage he caused. Don’t drop the soap bozo.

  22. Anonymous says:

    No one intentionally tries to run over or hurt anyone. Obviously he lost control of the car it doesn’t matter whether he was drunk or not. Unfortunately he hurt 2 people. Some restitution needs to happen . I don’t think that the people who got hurt really care about his prison sentence. They need money to help repair and facilitate their lives. If he looses his job ,I hope the “Insurance Co.” will pay without delay as they are known to procrastinate .

    • Anonymous says:

      “ doesn’t matter if he was drunk or not.”….I feel it matters immensely…anyone who drives (in this case drives like an idiot) drunk cares nothing about the safety of innocent people he may encounter and harm.

    • Anonymous says:

      8;17 pm, you are a fool or drunk when you say no one intentionally tries to hurt anyone, what about the serial killers,and those that kills people in the theaters, churches
      etc, that they don’t even know them. You got to be crazy to say things like that.

  23. Uncivil Servant says:

    Should have signed up for the Civil Service and he would be a free man today!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Good! This individual is a sorry excuse for a human being. Keep him locked up for as long as possible!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good. What a douchebag.

  26. Sharkey says:

    What a arrogant a**hole . Some good time at northward is going to make him a better old boy .

  27. Anonymous says:

    Wrong last name

  28. Soiled Son says:

    The Egghead is a sorry excuse of a human being. He obviously has not learned anything from any of this. He should be confined to the Dump for the rest of his life, for the vile creature that he truly is. I imagine he’ll be granted status upon release, correct?

    • Fred says:

      I agree with most of what you say, but the last sentence is just uninformed or bigotry. Of course he won’t be granted status. He has committed a major criminal offence and would never qualify. Stop trying to alide one expats disgraceful behaviour with the possible Grant of status for good, law abiding and community participant individuals. Not only is it unfair, it sends a message that Caymanians treat all expats seeking status equally – irrespective of behaviour. Not a message we want to send, surely.

      • Soiled Son says:

        Fred, the tongue-in-cheek comment was criticism directed toward government, not toward those law abiding expats who truly deserve status. It was also not directed toward Caymanians as a whole either, who like most expats would also love to see Simon depart a.s.a.p. Again, strictly towards government who far too often rewards those undeserving…

  29. Anonymous says:

    Yet locals can run people down, injure or KILL someone, flees the scene, lies about it later after being caught , and still gets away with no punishment. Double standard , hello. I’m not saying this guy shouldn’t be punished….. I’m saying let the same if not worse crime involving a local get the same punishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is a “local”

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you are a misinformed newcomer to expat paradise.

      In the good old days we had expats waltzing off the island without reaching the court for vehicular homicide.

      We will never forget the Canadian woman who ran over a pregnant Jamaican and ended her life on Eastern Avenue.

      She boarded a flight a few day later and enjoys life today at home. Worse part is no one was surprises such was the double standard.

      So many others but that one is to give you some Local context.

      • Anonymous says:

        How could you miss the point being made?

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 9:26pm – You are one of the reasons fake news is spread around. I’ll just bet you spread the same sh!te on your FB page, eh! This is an outright lie and you are a big fat liar speaking of something you do not know.
        She went to trial, was sentenced and spent 3 years of it here. I know that for a fact. She petitioned to spend the balance of her sentence in her home country. And that would be when she waltzed off the island into Her Majesty’s prison in Canada.
        Go do your research.

    • Yes Suh says:

      What you’re saying is correct. Vileness is not confined to any particular nationality.

    • Anonymous says:

      WOW, so this is the kind of wet turd we have keeping intelligent Caymanians from their jobs?

    • Anonymous says:

      You might do better discussing your personal problems with the courts, or perhaps the Immigration Department, rather than airing them on CNS, idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really could not have said it better. The similarities of these cases have blown me away yet the local got away free as a bird. The message is clear to me. Why are some people above the law? Both should have been given the same sentence if justice was fair.

      • frangipani says:

        A wise old sage once told me “persecution is worse that prosecution”
        Let’s hope he learns to not be so arrogant.

      • Diogenes says:

        Everyone loves to get the expat/Caymanian argument out and re air it. As usual, its bollocks. It does not explain why some Caymanians have got serious custodial sentences for hit and run. There is a valid point here, which is how come one person (irrespective of his immigration status) gets 3 years for grievous bodily harm, and another (irrespective of his status or his employment) ends up spending only 6 weeks in jail despite killing someone with their car. Lets focus on the issue – how did that happen, and how can we stop such obviously different treatment from happening in future, instead of letting personal prejudices provide simplistic answers.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know some of your comment are really overboard, I guarantee there are very few cases in which locals get the sweet end of the stick. You need to get your facts in order.

  30. Anonymous says:


  31. Anonymous says:

    Free Courtney!

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