Ex-cop guilty of conning elderly victim

| 13/02/2020 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman courthouse, George Town

(CNS): Daniel Meeks (34), a former police officer who was in the RCIPS for six years and the Jamaican police before that, was found guilty this week of misconduct in public office for conning an elderly woman into putting his name on her home ownership papers.

Meeks, who is expected to face a custodial sentence, was remanded after he was unable to meet strict bail conditions until his sentencing hearing. Meeks was tried in December by Justice Linda Dobbs without a jury.

When she delivered her decision Tuesday, the judge said she was satisfied he had used his position of trust to pressure the woman into signing over her home and was guilty of the single count. During the trial the court heard how Meeks had responded to a domestic incident at the victim’s home in Palm Dale, George Town, in November 2017.

Vernice Johnson, who was 71 years old at the time, was having challenges with her daughter, who had mental health issues, which led her to call 911. After her daughter was arrested, Meeks began going back to the woman’s home while off duty, taking gifts. Within the space of a week he had manipulated Johnson, who could not read very well, into signing papers that added him to the deeds of her house and land worth more than $270,000.

However, the scam was eventually reversed when her daughter was released from jail. After she learned what had happened she reported the swindle to the RCIPS. At that time Meeks had yet to pay the stamp duty on the transfer, so sensing the game was up, he instead he wrote a letter to the Lands and Survey Department asking that his name be removed.

After he was placed under investigation Meeks claimed that it was the victim who had made the request for him to put his name on the deeds to help her save the house for her grandson, who was a resident at Maples House, because her daughter had problems of her own. He persisted with that version of events in court, claiming he was merely helping her.

But his defence became increasingly shaky as he was cross-examined. The judge was not convinced by his evidence and found that Johnson was an honest and genuine person who did not understand what she was signing and had been truthful in her account.

Meeks, she said, was an unsatisfactory witness who had given no reasonable explanation for why he returned to the house when he knew the victim was a vulnerable person. As she returned her guilty verdict, Justice Dobbs said he had used his position of trust as a police officer to get his name on the deeds.

Meeks was represented by local defence attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke, who immediately declared her intention to appeal the verdict and urged the judge to bail her client. While Justice Dobbs was willing to do so until sentencing, she set very tough conditions, as the crown argued against his release, given the increased flight risk now that he has been convicted of a serious crime.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    with all this corruption in the force from other nationalities. seems to me it would be cheaper just to get the local so called gangs to join the force and let them tell on each other.pretty sure if they had steady income they wouldn’t have to sell drugs and rob us hard working Caymanian’s. lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Revoke his papers and send him back to yard=Jamaica!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Remember we have to hit the 100k population whether Meek or Mild. As long as the almighty dollar is involved , it doesn’t matter what background you come from. The flood gate has already been opened from the 3000 status grants! It has been downhill ever since then.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Again with the 3000 status grants…as I recall, Caymanians said and did nothing AND re-elected him 4 times since. “That what you git”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hardly a fair election when a third of the electorate got gifted status by you and then you removed the requirement that they be naturalized so they could vote for you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a weak case. I hope he appeals because he really did care.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Far from the only case of RCIPS officers using their position for “personal business”

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  6. Anonymous says:

    What kind of left-brained, reptilian shitbag do you have to be to do this? A defenceless trusting old woman. Who sets the hiring standards for this?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    RCIPS must have very low standards for their members……….. or do they even have standards?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You want to know how low they standards are? Make one of them got to take a statement from you??! Who is training these officers? Who?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I think it probably starts with the officer’s education. Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    How low can you be to con an old woman. All in one week!!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Jamaican.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Why are expats allowed to be officers anyway??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because not enough Caymanians want to do the job, yet everyone bangs on about not enough employment opportunities….

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      • Anonymous says:

        Most of the unemployed here have extensive criminal records or are unfit for duty. Hence why they are unemployed. Most every Caymanian of working age already has a job here. Unemployment is a myth.

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      • Anonymous says:

        God I miss the days when if a Caymanian couldn’t do or wasn’t available for a job, we would employ the very best from around the world. We should be hiring most of our expatriate police constable from places like the UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, not cockpit country.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I agree 100% 8.16pm but RCIP has to show diversity in their employment of Officers. Unfortunately, this has proved not to be the best decision. Cayman is such a small island and most Caymanian Officers went to school with a lot of residents or know them very well, or even friends or related in some way. This can work to their advantage or could go the other way. However, as an expat RCIPS Officer, the majority at the time I served, were indeed Caymanians. Granted crime was at a minimal at the time in the 80’s but we were more in control then. Our training officers were an excellent Superintendent from the U.K. and an Inspector expat from Jamaica. The Commissioner at the time was Jim Stowers, also an expat. Unfortunately, time has moved on and so has the population with an increased amount of unsavoury characters from various parts of the world raising the crime rate. I fail to understand why these people are brought in without professional qualifications and left to roam the streets robbing and burglarising. Yes, there are a lot of home grown criminals here as in every country, but there’s a lot of crime committed by these disadvantaged expats too. The U.K. has just started to eradicate expats who have committed serious crimes by deporting them back to their country of origin. They were recently put on the plane back to Jamaica, and rightly so. Maybe Cayman should start thinking along these lines. In fact, I’d go as far to say if you can’t bring up your children in a respectful manner and teach them right from wrong, they indeed should be deported and the whole family should be deported also. This, I think, would certainly make parents think of the consequences of their actions in future. You do the crime you do the time!

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    • Anon says:

      It’s a corruption thing. Like I can’t arrest him because he is from my district. And so you need a mixed police service.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    If only he had read his bible he might have been more patient, for one day he will inherit the earth.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Can we please deport him following completion of sentence? Why are so many foreign criminals allowed to be and remain here?

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Foreign” Criminals become ineligible for work permits after serving sentences …thus unless he has a Caymanian child and/or wife .. he will have no legal authority to remain after his sentence … thus no need to depart him #LearnTheLaw

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      • Anonymous says:

        So you think he’s going to buy a ticket and leave? LOL

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not true. It is perfectly possible to get immigration permissions despite prior convictions. Further, if you do not deport someone there is nothing to stop them coming back as a tourist, and robbing someone then. Deportation is appropriate and necessary, and is grossly under-utilized.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Why are so many foreign criminals allowed to be here?” One word: CIG!!!

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