Bermuda judge stuns murder trial by saying ‘all this talk of sex is making me horny’ after witnesses’ use of vulgar language

Bermuda judge stuns murder trial by saying ‘all this talk of sex is making me horny’ after witnesses’ use of vulgar language

- in Usa News
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A JUDGE in Bermuda has faced criticism from the British Court of Appeal after telling a murder trial that the amount of sex being mentioned was making him “horny”.

Carlisle Greaves, who until retiring in July served as a junior Supreme Court judge in the British Overseas Territory, made the comment while presiding over the trial of Khyri Smith-Williams for the 2011 killing of Colford Ferguson.

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Former judge Carlisle Greaves has been criticised for telling a murder trial in Bermuda that mention of sex was making him horny[/caption]

Ferguson, a 29-year-old father of one, was gunned down while working on a building project at a house in the village of Somerset in northwestern Bermuda.

Witness Troy Harris told the court that he and Smith-Williams had former sexual partners in common, to which Greaves responded: “All this sex is beginning to get me horny”.

Smith-Williams was later convicted of the murder by a majority verdict, and in October was sentenced to at least 35 years in prison.

The judge’s comments came to light after Smith-Williams’s defence lawyer, Jerome Lynch, took the case to the British Court of Appeal, asking for a retrial on the grounds that the judge had behaved in appropriately.

The Court of Appeal rejected the request, but appeal judge Sir Maurice Kay criticised Greaves’s behaviour.

Mr Justice Kay said: “In particular, his comment ‘all this sex is beginning to get me horny’ was inappropriate and inimical to the dignity of court proceedings.

“Mr Lynch was justified in criticising it.

“However, I do not believe that it damaged the defence or had the potential to undermine the safety of the conviction.”

JUDGE HAS A ‘VERY PERSONAL STYLE’

Mr Lynch also raised other aspects of Greaves’s conduct during Mr Harris’s testimony.

He argued that judge had not done enough to censure Mr Harris’s use of coarse language, and by his inaction had lent it his “tacit approval”.

In transcripts submitted to the Court of Appeal, Harris swears repeatedly and refers to other people involved in the case as “f*****t” and “f***ing p***y”.

But Kay again found Greaves’s response had not prejudiced the outcome of the case.

“Anybody familiar with serious criminal trials, in this jurisdiction in recent years, knows the judge has a very personal style, whereby he engages with witnesses, defendants, juries and advocates in an informal way, often using casual language and rich metaphors,” he said.

“In relation to Harris, it was important that the judge should facilitate his evidence, whatever it turned out to be.

“If he took the view, and I suspect he did, that the best course was to let the witness have his say, subject to the rules of evidence, rather than seek to inhibit him, it seems to me that that was an exercise of judgment which was open to him.”

Harris told the court that Smith-Williams earlier confessed to having played a role in Ferguson’s murder.


He said Smith-Williams claimed he had driven the getaway motorbike and that another man, Rasheed Muhammad, had pulled the trigger.

Harris also said Smith-Williams told him the killing was a case of mistaken identity.


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