‘Horny’ judge rebuked by appeal court of Bermuda

| 17/09/2019 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
Justice Carlisle Greaves

(CNS): Justice Carlisle Greaves, who served in the Cayman Islands Grand Court as an acting judge until he retired this summer, has been rebuked by the Court of Appeal in Bermuda for comments he made while presiding over a murder trial in Bermuda about feeling horny. The judge, who demonstrated during his time here that he is something of a character, appears to have crossed a line when, in the middle of the case, he said, “All this sex is beginning to get me horny.”

Justice Greaves made the controversial comment to witness Troy Harris, who was giving evidence about the sexual partners he had shared with the defendant in the case, Khyri Smith-Williams, who was ultimately convicted of murdering Colford Ferguson.

The details of the judge’s comments came to light during the appeal. Jerome Lynch, Smith-Williams’ lawyer, used that comment, among others, to form the basis of an appeal for a retrial for his client, claiming it illustrated that the judge had behaved inappropriately during the trial.

In a decision that was recently released, the panel of judges denied the appeal, but one of them, Sir Maurice Kay, said Greaves’ comment about feeling horny was “inappropriate and inimical to the dignity of court proceedings”.

The defence attorney had also argued that the judge had done nothing to rein in the witness’s crude language, lending credibility to the things he was saying.

The appeal court judges found that Justice Greaves’ response was not prejudicial. In the ruling Justice Kay pointed out that anyone familiar with this judge and his “very personal style”, where he engages with witnesses, defendants, juries and advocates in an informal way, would not have been surprised that he had decided the best course was to let the witness have his say.

During his time here Greaves did engage directly with witnesses and defendants and did not hold back his feelings during the course of trials and sentence hearings. But he never made any sexual comments in the cases he presided over in Cayman.

He presided over several important cases, such as the recent immigration CI$1.9M scam by Judith Douglas and the tragic case of Brianna Watler, who killed her boyfriend, Azzan Sherieff, in a violent struggle.

He had also offered some sound advice in several of the cases to defendants, including one in which a woman was convicted of wounding another in a love triangle, when he said that men were not worth fighting over, and compared them to buses.

Justice Greaves also made some pointed comments about the Penal Code here when he queried why the Cayman Islands authorities were still prosecuting people for consumption of drugs. He questioned why legislators felt it was still appropriate to punish the actual addiction, which in the modern world is seen as a health matter.

“It is a strange offence,” he said, as he wondered out loud if any consideration had been given to removing the consumption offence. He said it seemed an “interesting dilemma to be locking people up” when what they needed was treatment.


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Category: Caribbean, Courts, Crime, UK, World News

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “You were thinking it”..”I knowww but you said it” (White Chicks movie line)

  2. Anonymous12345 says:

    “All this sex is beginning to get me horny.” Personally, I don’t think he was being serious to blurp that out in a court room. Just the statement shows satire and was unprofessional. Of course, the defense would use the satire to their advantage.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    You know these now-a-days judges think they can do and say anything.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Although I’m struggling to find anything offensive about that comment it unfortunately tends to reinforce the stereotypical image of Afro/Caribbean people that many white folks, particularly where I come from, already have.

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    • Huh? says:

      You are “struggling” to find anything offensive? Perhaps good taste and manners are something you’re unfamiliar with. The comment was undignified for a person in his, or any position. Is he a member of the Kardashians to speak like that? Spouting off the first thing that comes to mind, especially when in poor taste, is more in line what one expects from the trailer trash, ghetto crowd…and in some cases, even they know better than to talk like that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What stereotypes are those? Humour me.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Career judges shouldn’t be getting horny hearing any trial testimony, especially at a flipping murder trial. That’s why you’re not a judge, and neither should he be, if he doesn’t (at least in hindsight) understand the inappropriateness of his blurted comment.

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      • Anonymous says:

        He was a judge for 20 years and nearing retirement. His comment about being horny was directed to the lawyer who filed the appeal. He was telling the lawyer to curtail the testimony he was leading. I actually find this hilarious and his judgment was not overturned by the CA, they just chastised him. I think he was probably bored too.

        Yes, to be on the receiving end of this would not have been wonderful, but it was still very funny and not wrong. A judge is entitled to tell a lawyer to speed things up or not to lead certain questions. The lawyer has now lost twice.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “He was telling the lawyer to curtail the testimony he was leading.” You were there??

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          • Anonymous says:

            No, and if I was Jerome Lynch QC, who is himself a legend, I would have been pissed too and appealed too. But if a witness is going on and on about sex and a judge makes that comment, it’s reasonable to assume that he is asking the lawyer to cut that part of the testimony short.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a legend to me, should be brought back here. Not sure what he’s done wrong.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not taking a murder case seriously..

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      • Anonymous says:

        The appeal was still denied despite the comments, so again, not sure what the issue was. Defense clutching at straws to a) extract more fees and drag out the process and b) a desperate attempt to get a convicted killer off the hook and back onto the streets to kill again.

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  6. Say it like it is says:

    A “people’s” judge, not a crusty old member of a priviledged society. We need more like him.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Extremely unprofessional!! What example and message is he sending. He would never get away with that disgusting and disrespectful behaviour in the U.K. he’d be struck off!! I’m all for fun and games but this is a Court of Law not some back room bar. How can he ever be taken seriously. If an officer in RCIPS said that he’d be disciplined and thrown out on his head.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, considering nothing happened to ol Jon Jon with his “gaypril” fiasco..

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I always liked Justice Greaves. He was a character when he presided here and a needed breath of fresh air! Also probably a guy down for a good pint.

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  10. Jobic Chak' Alisa says:

    wise guy, i like him

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  11. Anonymous says:

    “appears to have crossed a line”. You think?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I kind of feel like this guy was a bad hire. Who hires these people?

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