Suspended police officer Richard Hanna has been refused permission to leave Cayman until his trial for alleged thefts totalling less than $8,000.
On Friday, Defence Attorney Ailsa Williamson told Justice Alex Henderson that Hanna wanted to take up employment in his native Canada so that he could support himself and his family while awaiting trial. A Grand Court trial could be a year away, given the number of other cases already listed, she said.
Hanna wants to clear his name of charges against him, Ms Williamson said; the court could satisfy itself of his return by imposing a surety in a sufficient amount.
Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn opposed the application, which was to vary the bail granted in Summary Court two days earlier (Caymanian Compass, 19 July). The magistrate had refused permission to travel, but invited Ms Williamson to take the matter to Grand Court.
The judge held the bail hearing in open court.
After extensive arguments from both Ms Williamson and Mrs. Gunn, the judge made his ruling. He said that under the circumstances of the case, including alleged breach of trust, the Crown had the authority to retain Hanna’s passport and presence until his trial.
But he may not be kept indefinitely, Judge Henderson emphasised. Efforts must be made to expedite the matter.
Mrs. Gunn had advised the court that the Crown could have papers ready for a preliminary inquiry in August and could do the trial in September. Ms Williamson had indicated willingness to meet that schedule.
The judge was satisfied that the matter could be dealt with relatively quickly. He dismissed the application for bail variation.
During the discussion about the busy Grand Court calendar, he commented that it might be necessary to bring in a judge for the trial; the question would be whether there was a court room available.
Hanna faces one charge of obtaining money by deception and 11 counts of obtaining money transfers by deception. Twelve charges of theft were laid as alternatives.
Details in one charge are that Hanna, in early 2006 at Cayman Kai, obtained CI$250 from someone by deception; namely, by informing the person that the donated money would be used for the North Side School.
The 11 other charges refer to money transfers or cheques from individuals or businesses. Five of the amounts were in US, for a total of $3,250. The other amounts were in CI. Including the $250 cash, the seven CI amounts totalled $5,032.54.