Bovell-Swanson bailed pending appeal

Marlene Bovell-Swanson was granted bail in Grand Court on Friday after her scheduled appeal was adjourned. Another date has not yet been set.

Justice Alexander Henderson released her from custody on condition that she sign a recognisance in the sum of $1,000 without surety or deposit, and her passport be retained by the Courts office.

Bovell-Swanson was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment after she was found guilty on three charges of theft from the Crisis Centre. The amount of money involved totalled $6,000 (Caymanian Compass, 15 December).

At the time of the incidents leading to the charges, Bovell-Swanson was acting executive director at the Crisis Centre. During the trial she maintained she was entitled to the money as consultancy fees and there was an oral agreement about payments.

Her trial attorney gave immediate notice of appeal after the sentence was announced. He asked for bail pending appeal and Chief magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale refused it, but suggested he take the matter to Grand Court.

Bail was refused in Grand Court also.

On Friday, Attorney Anthony Akiwumi said his client’s time in custody had been devastating for her as she has previously worked in social services.

Justice Henderson said he saw no particular reason to keep her in custody pending appeal, since she was not a threat to the community. He asked her immigration status and was advised she has permanent residency.

The issue of bail came up after procedural arguments between Mr, Akiwumi and Crown Counsel John Masters.

Justice Henderson asked Mr. Akiwumi if he wanted to proceed with the appeal or have it adjourned with his client bailed. Mr. Akiwumi spoke with Bovell-Swanson then told the court he was ready to proceed, but she wanted bail.

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