Armed police guard court as witness gives evidence

| 24/10/2019
Cayman News Service
Police officers at the courthouse entrance as the witness gives evidence

(CNS): Security at the George Town courthouse was beefed up Thursday as a witness gave evidence in an ongoing case regarding a 2017 home invasion in Prospect. Caine Thomas (20), one of the men who has admitted being involved in the crime, began giving evidence against Elmer Wright (25), who is now the only man left in the dock after the third co-defendant in the case, Nikel Thomas (24), made admissions about his role just before the trial resumed. A fourth man has never been charged.

The police were out in force at the court as a result of undisclosed concerns relating to the case, with armed officers stationed both inside and out. Numerous patrol vehicles from the firearms response and canine units as well the helicopter were deployed for the trial, which is being presided over by a judge alone without a jury.

Wright and Caine and Nikel Thomas, who are brothers, were all charged last year with a catalogue of crimes, but since Caine Thomas has agreed to give evidence against Wright and Nikel has also made admissions, the trial is focusing on Wright and the unnamed fourth suspect.

All four men are accused of stealing a Honda Civic from a hotel car park and an attempted burglary on the West Bay Road, but just three of the men are now believed to have been involved in what has been described as a terrifying home invasion for the victims.

The fourth man, who the crown believes was a key player in the case and identified by one of the witnesses, has not been charged. His name remains under wraps and subject to a court order. The trial has been adjourned on numerous occasions due to a catalogue of legal issues surrounding the defendants and witnesses, as well as the allegations regarding the fourth man.

As it resumed Thursday morning, Nikel Thomas, who had initially denied the charges against him, made admissions about the part he played in the crime spree. Thomas pleaded guilty to lesser charges after claiming that he was the lookout and getaway driver but had no knowledge at the time of the full extent of the criminality that his brother and the others engaged in. The crown has accepted that he was not one of the three men who broke into the victims’ home.

Soon after Nikel’s admissions, his younger brother, Caine Thomas, who entered guilty pleas to all of the allegations more than a year ago, took to the witness stand. He recounted the events of the crime spree and how he was arrested by police after he crashed his car while being chased by officers on School Road in George Town.

The crown’s case, which was largely supported by Caine Thomas’ evidence, is that he, Wright and the fourth suspect were the three men who burst into the couple’s Prospect home in the early hours of 17 June, armed with guns and a hammer. They tied up both the man and the woman with duct tape and demanded cash, jewellery and and other valuables.

Wright assaulted the male victim as the fourth man was said to have threatened the couple. All three ransacked the home to find what they wanted before fleeing the scene in the stolen car.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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