DPP appointed as Grand Court judge

| 22/11/2018 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cheryll Richards, QC

(CNS): After 22 years of prosecuting offenders in the Cayman Islands, Cheryll Richards, QC will begin judging them next month after she takes up a position on the local bench. The current director of public prosecutions, Richards has been appointed as a full-time judge of the Grand Court and will take up her new seat on 1 December. Her current deputy, Patrick Moran, will be stepping into her shoes until a new director is recruited. Richards secured the position after taking part in an open recruitment process and panel interview, when she was recommended to the governor as the best candidate.

“Ms Richards has earned the respect of the community through her hard work and dedication as both Cayman’s first director of public prosecutions and in her many other roles in the Legal Department,” Governor Martyn Roper said in a release about her appointment. “Her extensive experiences and skills prosecuting matters in the criminal division will be an asset to our judiciary.”

Richards has been given the green light to assist the Acting DPP Moran with administrative and financial matters at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions during the transitional period, but once she joins the judicial bench, she will no longer hold constitutional responsibility to institute and undertake criminal proceedings.

However, Richards has been involved in the prosecution of many cases that have not yet appeared before the courts and officials said she will be allocated cases by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie so as to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise between her responsibilities as a prosecutor and those she will take up as a judge. A press release from the Judicial and Legal Services Commission said she would have no dealings with criminal cases that she indicted as the DPP.

Richards joined the former Portfolio of Legal Affairs in 1996 as crown counsel and became a senior prosecutor in 2003 before being appointed as solicitor general. When the legal department was split following the 2009 Constitution, creating the independent office of public prosecutions, Richards was appointed as its director.

She was called to the Bar in 1986 and worked in Turks and Caicos and in her native Jamaica for several years before coming to Cayman, where she was awarded Queen’s Counsel in 2009.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont think it’s right for a ex prosecuter to become judge!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think defence attorneys should be allowed, or are they banned too? Maybe we should just ban all lawyers from being judges. Maybe we should also ban anyone who has ever played baseball from umpiring Major League. It’s not like there are many rules, right? Whilst we are at it, we could ban anyone who has ever performed surgery from performing surgery. Surely it can’t be that difficult, right?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully she will oversee some of these maintenance cases and push for full enforcement. Some men owe over 50k

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ms Richards was a good mentor and teacher of many who had the good fortune to work alongside her. Firm but very fair, I have no doubt she will carry these virtues to the bench. A prosecutor is never a popular person with the criminal and their entourage but her integrity will serve her well indeed.

  4. Bad Minded says:

    Bwoy, so many bad minded people amongst us. What is so bad about the lady of silk? She deserves the appointment.

  5. Disaster says:

    Mrs. Richards ought to have been retired centuries ago. However, loyalty and length of service is rewarded over competence, as long as you tow the line and cause few waves. What a mess. The only positive is that Patrick Moran may have a shot at her old position, which one may consider a positive development.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Bench, Judge Richards. You have belonged for a long time.

    Much respect.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So after the utter failings of the legal department under her management and bringing the weakest and most bias cases to court only to have them thrown out she is placed now as a grand court judge! I see a lot of lawsuits and appeals won in the near future.

    Bad decision

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. I watched her several times in Court and she was hopeless (embarrassingly so) as compared to the younger UK Barristers, like Ben Tonner and Nick Dixey. As for being a Judge, she couldn’t even work out whether there was sufficient evidence to bring successful prosecution, never mind actually deciding on the point judicially!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! He will do a great job based on his judicial experience and his history with past cases.

  9. anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to see if her successor can speed up the prosecution process in these islands as it has been plagued with extraordinary delays over the years. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Mrs. Richards. Hope your time on the bench will be more successful in delivering justice than your time as DPP, having had so many cases thrown out!

  11. Prison staff says:

    Well done Ms Richards, fully deserved

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have great respect for Ms Richards and I congratulate her on this well deserved appointment.

    Wayne Panton

  13. Anonymous says:

    She has been an outstanding prosecutor for over 20 years, extremely hard working and diligent on hundreds if not thousands of prosecutions and usually the most serious cases in our courts. I worked with her many times, there are few lawyers as dedicated as her anywhere. Congratulations Ms. Richards, this is well deserved, I’m sure you will continue to serve Cayman with distinction.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and well deserved! I have the highest degree of respect for Ms Richards and have no doubt that she will be a fantastic judge.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Interesting choice. She was the lead prosecutor on Operation Tempura. Anyone remember how that ended up?

    • Anonymous says:

      She was the lead prosecutor on almost every serious matter in Cayman’s courts for over a decade. There were some charlatans in and around the tempura case but Ms. Richards was not one of them.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Ms. Richards. You earned it and you deserve it. Thank you for your dedication and hard work over the years. The civil service leadership will certainly miss you but we know you will continue to work hard, uphold law and operate with supreme integrity in your new post. God Bless you.

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