There was a breach of trust involved in the obtaining property by deception charges Lyndon Martin was convicted of, Justice Paulette Williams said in passing sentence on Thursday.
She imposed a term of eight months for each offence, but made them run together for a total of eight months.
Defence Attorney Ben Tonner immediately gave notice that both conviction and sentence would be appealed.
Mr. Tonner then made an application for bail to Justice Charles Quin in his chambers. Justice Quin granted bail pending appeal.
The appeal has been listed for November, Mr. Tonner said. A usual reason for bail is that a major portion of the sentence would otherwise be served before the appeal was heard.
The offences for which Martin was sentenced occurred between July 2005 and April 2006. In April 2008 a Grand Court jury found him guilty of obtaining $250 and $475 from one man and $350 from another man by falsely representing the money would be used for an application to the Immigration Department.
After the verdicts, which included six of not guilty, sentencing was postponed because Mr. Tonner requested a pre-sentencing report. Justice Williams, who conducted the trial, had been acting in the absence of another judge; she was not scheduled to be back in Cayman until this month.
Martin is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, serving from November 2000 until Assembly was dissolved in March 2005.
He contested but did not win a seat in the May 2005 election.
Justice Williams did not refer to this fact directly. She did, however, observe ‘Mr. Martin was perceived to be a man with the requisite power and position to help them and to my mind he took advantage of that perception.’
She said the evidence was clear both men trusted Martin to make good on his promises to assist and he never did.
‘It is well recognised, therefore, that there has been a breach of trust.’
It was not the breach of trust the courts were more accustomed to, such as with employees or persons in office betraying that office. But it was a breach nonetheless and was not to be regarded as insignificant, the judge said.
Mr. Tonner had urged the court to say that immediate imprisonment was not appropriate and a sentence of community service could be imposed.
Crown Counsel John Masters, who conducted the case for the prosecution, said the starting point for determining Martin’s sentence should be between two and a half to five years because of his previous criminal record.
Martin has two convictions for employing another person without a work permit.
Those offences occurred in March 2004 and related to two women who worked in his restaurant in Cayman Brac. He pleaded guilty and was fined $750 for each offence.
Justice Williams addressed this point in her sentencing remarks. She noted character references, which had been submitted about Martin from various members of the community. They all indicated he was in their estimation a man of good character.
‘The fact is that Mr. Martin, however, does not stand before this court with an unblemished character for the purposes of this court.
‘Indeed, the offences for which he pleaded guilty, which convictions remain before the court, are not to be minimised because to my mind they involve an element of dishonesty, which I need to consider against the background of all the circumstances in order to determine the appropriate sentence,’ the judge said.
In her opinion, she had no choice but to impose a period of imprisonment. But she agreed that a lengthy period of incarceration did not seem appropriate.