Kim Moncrieffe loses appeal

Starts 2½ year prison sentence

Kim Ionie Moncrieffe, convicted in 2006 of thefts from her employer, began serving a 2½ year prison sentence after appearing in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

The court dismissed her appeal against convictions. Attorney Edward Renvoize then began presenting arguments as to why her sentence should be reduced.

Crown Counsel John Masters rose to suggest the sentence should be increased. The Court of Appeal Law gives the power to adjust a sentence up or down. Mr. Renvoize then asked permission to withdraw the appeal of sentence and the court affirmed 2 ½ years.

Moncrieffe, now 44, had faced 15 counts relating to theft and one count of false accounting arising from her employment at British Caymanian Insurance between 1998 and 2002.

Trial Judge Alexander Henderson dismissed four counts of theft and the false accounting, leaving 11 counts of theft for jurors to decide. They found her guilty of 10 and not guilty of one.

The total involved was $49,034, which the judge ordered to be repaid. He allowed Moncrieffe to remain on bail pending appeal.

The matter took some time to be heard, in part because Moncrieffe changed attorneys.

Mr. Renvoize argued the appeal on the ground that the convictions were unsafe because there was a material irregularity and a real possibility that an informed observer may form the impression there was juror bias.

He said the material irregularity was the trial judge’s failure to investigate the circumstances of a particular juror.

Justice Elliot Mottley pointed out Moncrieffe’s attorneys were fully aware of the juror’s circumstances. He asked if counsel should be able to sit back, take no objection before the trial and then come to the Court of Appeal to object.

Hearing the matter with him were Acting Court President Ian Forte and Justice Geoffrey Vos.

They did not disturb the order for repayment.

This was the third appeal in recent years that has involved the argument of juror bias. All three appeals have been dismissed.

In sentencing Moncrieffe in December 2006, Justice Henderson pointed to the considerable amount of trust her employers had placed in her; a defence that suggested other employees may have been responsible for the missing funds; and a previous conviction for breach of trust.