Theft trial under way

Trial got under way on Tuesday for Kim Moncrieffe, who is charged with 15 counts of theft from British Caymanian Insurance Company Ltd.

Jury selection took some time on Monday after Mr. Justice Alex Henderson told potential jurors they should let him know if they were employees or customers of British Caymanian.

Of the first 14 persons whose names were called, 10 said they were customers. Howard Hamilton QC, who appears for the Defence, drew a laugh when he asked if there were no other insurance companies on the island.

An informal tally showed that 43 people were called before the jury of seven was sworn. Of that number, 20 said they were customers of British Caymanian. Of the remainder, the Defence challenged seven people and the Crown challenged five. The judge excused others or had them stand aside.

Moncrieffe, who entered her not guilty pleas last year, was an employee of the company. She faces 15 counts of theft totalling $73,200.

The alleged offences were said to have occurred between December 1998 and August 2002. Amounts specified in the charges range between $2,526 and $8,000. There is also one charge of false accounting.

The trial has been set down for two weeks. It is being held in Court 5, which is fitted with computer screens so that documents can be viewed electronically by the judge, jurors, witness, defendant and all counsel.

Mr. Hamilton is instructed by Attorney Margetta Facey-Clarke.

The case for the Prosecution is conducted by crown Counsel Gail Johnson.

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