Man who missed trial in 2002, returns, granted bail

Magistrate Valdis Foldats granted
bail last week to a man charged with failing to surrender to custody – on 28
May, 2002.

Mark Kayne Bush, 38, was supposed
to have appeared in Summary Court then for trial on a charge of handling stolen
goods – a diamond ring valued at more than US$5,000.

The alleged offence was said to
have occurred in 2000. Defence Attorney John Furniss said Bush had provided a
receipt for his purchase.

Mr. Furniss said Bush had been in
court in February 2002, when the May trial date was set. He said Bush married
an American, moved to the US, applied for citizenship there and was obliged to
surrender his documents in the process.

Bush returned to Cayman on 29
August, 2010, the attorney said. A check was made at the airport and there was
nothing recorded against him. He went to authorities to apply for police
clearance. Not getting satisfaction, Bush approached Mr. Furniss just before
Christmas; the attorney said he advised he was going off-Island, but would look
into the matter after the holiday.

When the attorney returned, Bush
told him he had received a warrant and had spoken to the supervisor of the
Criminal Registry. The defendant said he was told they were looking for his
file.

When Bush surrendered to the court
on 13 January, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale remanded him in custody.
“As far as I am concerned he has no good reason to be absent for eight years.
He has treated the court with scant regard,” she said, adding that his
behaviour might be described as contemptuous.

The magistrate set the matter for
mention on 27 January so that the Crown could determine whether witnesses were
still available for the original trial.

Last week, in Mr. Foldats’ court,
Crown Counsel Marilyn Brandt advised that the witnesses were available.

Mr. Furniss proceeded with his bail
application, noting that the ring had been recovered.

Bush did not have any similar convictions
and no history of failing to surrender. He emphasised the not guilty plea, but
argued that even if Bush were convicted, the sentence was likely to be
suspended or community service.

In granting bail, the magistrate
said he took into account Bush’s voluntary surrender and a medical issue raised
by Mr. Furniss.

Bail conditions include a surety in
the sum of $2,500, surrender of travel documents and thrice-weekly reporting to
police.

Trial was set for 7 April.

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