(CMR) Jean-Eric Smith (Notch) (49) appeared for his Summary Court trial late today after the judge had issued a warrant for his immediate arrest for non-appearance. Acting Magistrate Roberts heard that there was an accident on the road which delayed him appearing on time. The warrant was then withdrawn at around 11:10 am.
Smith, former president of the Cayman Islands Music Association, was in court to answer to three separate traffic offenses: (1) driving without insurance (2) careless driving and (3) failing to display his license plates.
The alleged facts of the case are that on May 9, 2019, around 4:21 pm a uniformed police officer observed him driving a Suzi Swift around a roundabout on Esterley Tibbetts Highway; after not giving way and almost colliding with him at “a high rate of speed”. The officer attempted to pull him over but he did not stop. Eventually, he came to a stop by the Kimpton Hotel and the officer approached and noted that “he became defensive, asking why he had been stopped.”
He claimed at first to not be aware of what the officer had said but then changed his story informing the officer he had not seen the vehicle. The officer informed him that approaching roundabouts required a certain duty of care that increased when another vehicle was already in the roundabout.
When asked to produce his documents he then became aggressive asking the officer why he was giving him such a hard time as he had done nothing wrong. The officer then observed the registration coupon was expired and there was no front plate on the vehicle. Upon producing his driver's license and logbook there was no available insurance certificate. However, he did provide a receipt for the insurance payment that was made claiming he had coverage. The officer contacted 911 and was informed that the insurance had expired in April on the vehicle.
Still claiming there was insurance on the vehicle the officer attended Island Heritage Insurance company for independent verification. They confirmed there was no valid insurance policy in place on the day that he was pulled over for the traffic offenses. However, the following day, May 10, he went in and renewed his policy.
Smith has pleaded guilty to the insurance charge stating he was not aware the insurance had been canceled. The prosecution claimed that his explanation is not relevant as it is a strict liability offense meaning intent is not a requirement.
Smith was apologetic for his tardiness today. The court reminds defendants that appearing to court on time is their responsibility. Anyone who appears after the list has been completed without lawful excuse risk an arrest warrant being issued. The matter has now been adjourned until March 5.