Parents must pay court $50,000

Alternative is to produce their son

If Stephen Edward Whittaker does
not appear in Summary Court by 19 August, his parents will have to pay the
court $50,000.

That was the amount pledged to
obtain his bail in December 2006 after he was charged with attempting to export
almost 14 ounces of cocaine.

Whittaker, now 28, was scheduled to
stand trial on 14 July, but he did not appear.

On Tuesday, 20 July, the defendant’s
parents came to court, appearing before Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale,
who told them Stephen had absconded and thus they owed the court $50,000.
“That’s what happens when we sign for our children,” she said. Signing a bail
bond means assuming responsibility for making sure the bailed person comes to
court. “You either produce Stephen to me or you produce $50,000.”

The magistrate noted that such a
large bail bond was usually backed by a major possession, such as a home.

On 14 July, Magistrate Nova Hall
had ordered a warrant for Whittaker’s arrest and directed that the individuals
who signed for his bail be summoned to attend court.

Defence Attorney John Furniss had
asked that the warrant not be executed immediately, explaining that he had received
a phone call from Whittaker. He said his client told him he had gone fishing
and was “trapped abroad”. However, Mr. Furniss added, he had not heard from
Whittaker since.

Whittaker, now 28, was arrested at
Owen Roberts Airport on 23 November, 2006. According to informal records kept
by the Caymanian Compass, he first appeared in court on 29 November that year,
facing charges of attempted exportation, possession and possession with intent
to supply 395 grams of the illegal drug.