Mental health issues delay hearing for killers

| 31/01/2018 | 32 Comments
Cayman News Service

Kirkland Henry in 2008

(CNS): The sentencing hearing for the two men convicted of killing local activist Estella Scott-Roberts was adjourned Wednesday after the chief justice heard that one of the two men is suffering from what appears to be serious mental health problems. Kirkland Henry and Larry Ricketts were convicted of the brutal and shocking high-profile murder in 2010 and given life sentences, which must now be defined. But Henry failed to appear as the court heard he refused to attend, believing wrongly that his case is concluded and that he has been found innocent.

With the implementation of the Conditional Release Law in 2016, all prisoners serving life sentences must now be given a set tariff, replacing the old ad hoc system of releasing lifers on licence. All lifers are required to attend a conditional release hearing before the judge who presided over their trials to set the minimum term that each of them must serve before any consideration can be given to their release.

The tariff is recommended in law to be 30 years, but depending on the circumstances of each case, judges have the power to increase or even decrease that term. However, the terms are not release dates. All lifers will still need to demonstrate that they are safe to be released before a specially convened board once they reach the end of the tariff term. But as they are still serving life, they can be kept in jail until the board is satisfied they are rehabilitated and no longer pose a threat to the community.

On Wednesday efforts to begin the discussion on the appropriate term for both Henry and Ricketts were stopped when the judge heard from a health professional via video link from the prison about Henry’s mental health.

The mental health professional told the court that efforts over the last few years to persuade Henry to undergo a mental health assessment have failed because he appears to be extremely unwell. A local attorney acting as amicus curiae on his behalf said that they, too, had been unable to communicate with the convicted killer and had struggled to get access to whatever notes may be available on the findings from the limited access psychiatrists have had to the prisoner.

As a result, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie ordered that whatever notes exist regarding Henry since he was remanded in custody in the wake of the killing in 2008 should be handed to the court. He also directed that a final effort should be made to evaluate Henry to try to secure a diagnosis and determine if he is fit to appear or whether his tariff should be decided in his absence.

As the court heard from and discussed Henry’s situation, Ricketts sat quietly reading documents in the dock. As part of the joint enterprise offence, both men would be expected to be sentenced together in order to ensure parity in the final time. The hearing for Ricketts, therefore, was also adjourned.

The court will hear the matter again on 9 February.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To this day, 10 years later I am still haunted by this murder, and by the thought that only 5 days earlier I asked Mr. Henry to come see me about doing my yard (he was tending the yard of my neighbor at the time). As a woman living on a dead end street, I feel fortunate that he did not come to see me.

  2. Ghost Saddle says:

    His real problem is he has a conscience and now the consequences of his murderous actions have come back to haunt him. Ricketts doesnt have one so it does bother him. Henry unfortunately was an accessory the others are principals in Estella’s rape and murder. if her friends and a capable ex policeman did not take this up these two wouldn’t even be in prison today even their confessions were botched up by the RCIPS. There are others out there who know exactly what happen to Estella Scott.

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  3. Elvis says:

    Was t so mad when he planned his heinous murder though right?

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      No problem. When all the legal rigmarole is over, and lawyers have made their bit, he will still be a danger to society, so put him away for min 30 years.

  4. Anonymous says:

    damn scumbags they didn’t think of estella when they were doing those cruel things to her, I hope both of them are deported and sent back to there own country where they can rot in hell. northward is too good for them!!!!!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    On thing no one has to teach these scum bags and that’s is “how to act” they are the best criminal actors in the world. They are born with this demon talent. NEVER…NEVER….trust them. It’s Called acting.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The powers that be … do we understand yet… how we are digging our graves by letting these scums in to our beautiful Islands. They (all involved) will get no sympathy from me. Deport them and let them walk the streets of their island with the other demons.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Estella was a friend of mine. Please let me alone with my fishing knife and each of them for just a short while. There would be no need to review their sentences, but perhaps mine!!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    shame on you for killing my cousin! ?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, just WOW. He suffering from that cause of what he did. He will never be in peace for taking another person life.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Now the Western European Liberal ex-pats will start being concerned with Kirkland Henry’s human rights. His insanity is of his own making and he should steep in it for eternity. He lost all rights by his evil doings that night in 2008. Throw the key away and feed him from a pale.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is ridiculous.

      Are we really concerned about their mental health

      They should have been allowed to enter cayman

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    • Anonymous says:

      8.05 Human rights belong to all, regardless…if you start taking them away from one group, then they slowly get removed for all. Russia, China North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey, Vietnam, Philippines are just a few good examples. Hell you couldn’t write your comment there without getting arrested…

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      • Anonymous says:

        People get excited about all this violent crime and talk agressively. Who can blame them. No need to lecture us on human rights.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    30 years? Electrical chair!

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  12. annonymous says:

    Those two scumbags must pay the price for what they did and the rest of their life in prison is not good enough!

    The evil manner in which they plotted and took that woman’s life was nothing short of sinister and beastly. They should have been given the death sentence!

    I hope Estella’s family protest to no end, so they don’t ever get out. They will do it again if given the chance – Animals that behave that way to anyone, much less a human will never change!

    They are a menace to society!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh, booo hooo! No sympathy whatsoever.

    Funny how when the going gets tough, these criminals either find Jesus or need a mental facility.

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  14. West bay Premier says:

    I think that both of them need to have a second opinion of their mental health issues . Maybe a lot of it is scared to death of being killed .

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    • Anonymous says:

      I was thinking the same thing as well Premier, I too can act insane if it helps my cause. These two guys negatively affected all of Cayman living here on that night in 2008. Some of us will never recover from it even though we are not family or friend to Estella. I personally want them ended.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Deport him from now so that he can rot mentally in his own country!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Back to Jamaica would be his wish. Freedom will miraculously heal him. Keep him in Northward until the end of his time. Hopefully he will go insane.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s exactly his scheme. Back to Jam. Freedom will make him better. Nooooo, best to leave him to serve his time.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    He is cruel and should be locked away for the rest of his life!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mental condition!!!!!!! I am one happy camper to hear this. It’s called punishment for a horrific crime. God is GREAT.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Who gives a shit about these murderers? What about Estella? What about how she felt? The justice system has failed many! I hope he lives long enough to go absolutely crazy! Nobody gives a rats ass about these criminals who take the lives of innocent people! Stop wasting time and money on these evil people!

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  18. too much criminal rights says:

    This 2009 new constitution gives criminals too much rights and none for the victims. It does not protect law abiding citizens.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I say we get rid of it…It’s foolish and it is only causing more lawless, disgusting behaviors. It’s like they aren’t prisoners but they are at some half way house with the same perks and benefits as law abiding people.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can tell by the many compassionate comments that Cayman is truly a Christian place.

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      • Yup says:

        You’re an idiot bobo, and I’m not even Caymanian. This man deserves 0 compassion. If you can’t understand that this man is pure evil for what he did, then you ought to bunk right next to him. If you don’t know the details of his crime, perhaps you ought to keep your trap shut. Either way, go fly a kite.

      • Anon says:

        I agree with Yup! You truly are a idiot! If you had known Estella like alot of us did. Played along side her growing up and watched her become the beautiful woman that she became, inside and out, and felt that horrible pain and anguish the day we heard what happened to her, then maybe you would feel like so many of us do! I hope he goes insane with guilt and save the taxpayers a few dollars by killing himself so he can go to hell where he belongs! He took a beautiful soul from all of us and he will never get sympathy from me! Being a rape victim myself. I can imagine the horror my friend endured that night! I feel no sympathy for that scum of the earth!

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