All but one adjourned until after general elections
Five candidates contesting the general election are before the Grand Court or Summary Court, but all except Arnold Berry of Bodden Town have had their matters adjourned until after Election Day on 22 May.
Mr. Berry and Berisons Development Company Ltd. face two charges of failure to effect and continue a standard health insurance contract for two employees between 1 May, 2010, and 19 April, 2012.
On Tuesday, 30 April, defence attorney Steve McField and the Crown counsel both asked for time to review the charges and the evidence. Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn set the matter for mention again on Tuesday, 14 May.
North Side candidate Joey Ebanks appeared in Grand Court on Friday morning, when his legal representative asked for the matter to go off until Friday, 14 June.
The defendant, listed on the court schedule as Joseph Fitzgerald Ebanks, has one charge in Grand Court, that of obtaining a money transfer by deception.
Attorney Fiona Robertson, who was holding for Ben Tonner, explained that there are some charges against Mr. Ebanks that are still in Summary Court. She said it was proposed to hold a committal hearing so that they could be joined with the Grand Court matter.
That charge alleges that he obtained $1,188.63 belonging to the Electricity Regulatory Authority by falsely representing that the funds were required for official travel expenses. He is former managing director of the authority.
The charges still in Summary Court allege dishonesty, such as theft and obtaining property by deception.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Trevor Ward agreed with the reason for the adjournment and Justice Nova Hall set the matter for the requested date. Mr. Ebanks then attended Summary Court, where Magistrate Grace Donalds set Tuesday, 4 June, for the next mention.
In addition to the charges to be sent to Grand Court, there is a separate file in which Mr. Ebanks is charged with consumption of cocaine on or before 6 March this year and possession of a utensil used in the preparation or consumption of cocaine.
On Wednesday, 1 May, Frank Swarres McField asked for an adjournment of his ongoing trial so that he could concentrate on his campaign. A candidate in the district of George Town, he told Magistrate Gunn that he had considered the importance of proving his innocence before the general elections, but the trial had gone on longer than he ever imagined.
Mr. McField is charged with obstructing police and resisting arrest following an incident after midnight on Sunday, 20 May 2012, at the El Caboose Restaurant, of which he was described as the owner.
The restaurant, in McField Square in George Town, was managed at the time by Silvana Lewis, who is charged with offences that include permitting use of a premises for the purpose of music and dancing out of hour.
They pleaded not guilty in November and their joint trial began on 11 February, going part-heard on three further dates. On 10 April, the court could not reach the matter and on 24 April the Crown counsel could not attend.
Noting that the defendants are representing themselves, the magistrate said last week it was in the interest of justice that the adjournment be granted because the election campaign was likely to draw the defendants’ attention away from their trial when they must be able to concentrate on it. By agreement the matter has gone over until 29 May.
Matthew Leslie, also a candidate for George Town, is charged with failing to effect and continue health insurance for one employee between 17 January, 2011, and 16 March, 2011. He pleaded not guilty on 19 February this year and his trial was set for 6 August. Mr. Leslie’s attorney is Waide DaCosta.
As previously reported, former Premier McKeeva Bush is scheduled to return to Grand Court on 28 June. Charges against him were detailed after his first court appearance on 12 April. They include allegations of misconduct in public office and breach of trust by a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Mr. Bush is a candidate in the district of West Bay.