Bread man gets new trial

Dave Bryan accused of obtaining more than $300,000 from Foster’s Food Fair

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal on Tuesday quashed a verdict by which Dave Bryan, 48, had been found guilty of obtaining $309,981.37 by deception from Foster’s Food Fair IGA between January 2007 and May 2008.

The allegation was that the baker submitted invoices for more products, including bread and Easter buns, than were actually delivered.

Bryan chose to be tried by judge alone and his Grand Court trial began in February 2012, with Justice Charles Quin handing down judgment on 3 April, 2012.

The Court of Appeal said Justice Quin’s decision had to be regarded as unsafe and directed that a new trial be held.

Court president Sir John Chadwick explained the two factors that led to this conclusion.

One had to do with a crown witness, whom the trial judge regarded as telling the truth. However, he did not know that this witness had been promised he would not be prosecuted if he gave evidence against Bryan.

The reason the judge did not know was that neither the prosecution nor the defence had told him. If he had known, the trial judge might have concluded the witness was not telling the truth. But if the trial had been by jury, the judge would have had to advise jurors of the need for special caution because of the possibility of inducement.

The second factor involved material inappropriately admitted into evidence.

Justice Chadwick summed up the problems with the observation: Factors had been taken into account that should not have been, and factors were not taken into account that should have been. The result was that Bryan did not receive the fair trial to which he was entitled.

Crown prosecutor Michael Snape accepted that a new trial was appropriate.

Defence attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke asked about bail for Bryan and was told to apply to the Grand Court.

Hearing the appeal with the president were Justice Elliot Mottley and Justice Ian Forte.

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