Judge considers case of attempted child abduction

| 21/11/2018 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A local man from West Bay has denied trying to abduct a nine-year-old girl who was vacationing in Cayman with her family when she was playing with her six-year-old sister at the Plantation Village condos on the West Bay Road in May. Sean Scott (37) is charged with criminal trespass and attempted abduction but has pleaded not guilty, claiming he did not try to “steal” any child, as suggested by the crown’s witnesses.

The trial, which began last week, concluded Tuesday before Justice Roger Chapple, who heard the case alone. He must decide whether Scott is the man described by the children and whether or not he had tried to pick up the child and take her away.

Crown prosecutor Scott Wainwright told the judge that the case was not about identity, even though the description of the would-be abductor, which had been given by both the girls involved and their grandfather, who had also observed the man he believed to be the suspect, was very different from Scott. However, a number of other factors, including Scott’s own admissions during a police interview and the fact he was wearing an electronic tag in relation to burglary charges, placed him at the scene at the time.

Scott told police that he was in the area with members of his own family because it was Mother’s Day, and he had approached some children who had a butterfly net, as one of them seemed upset. He said he had touched one girl on her shoulder and asked if they wanted to play a game, but that was all and denied picking up the little girl. At trial, however, his attorney raised the question of mistaken identity and suggested that the children he spoke with may not have been the children in question.

The two sisters and the grandfather described a tall, dark skinned man with dreadlocks tied up in scarf who was wearing something round his ankle and a distinctive football shirt with a number on the back. He was said to have asked the children to play a game. While their account fitted with that of Scott’s, the physical description raised questions. Scott has short hair, is not very tall and is light skinned, though a shirt with a number on the back was also found at his apartment following his arrest.

The girls said the suspect had tried to pick up and take away the older of the two children but she had managed to wriggle free before they ran to the condo site office for help. When asked to select the man from a photo line-up by police, the grandfather, who said he had seen the potential kidnapper from his view from the condo balcony, and the sisters picked an entirely different person than Scott.

Considering the defence argument that it was a question of identity, even though he accepted there were significant problems with the descriptions, the judge pointed out that Scott had admitted to the police that he was in the area and talked to two little girls.

Given all of the evidence, Justice Chapple said the “inescapable conclusion” if the children were telling the truth, as everyone agreed, and if it was not Scott who had picked up the child, then at the very same time he was in the area talking to the same girls or other children, a second man, also wearing a football shirt and an electronic tag, was also there attempting to kidnap a child.

Following the summary of the case by the two lawyers, the judge adjourned the trial and said he would deliver his verdict early next month.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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