The murder of Frederic Bise and the publicity surrounding the six-year hunt for his killers had a devastating effect on his two young daughters, a court heard Tuesday.
A victim impact statement from the Swiss banker’s ex-wife Veronique Bise was read to the court during prosecution submissions on sentencing for Leonard Antonio Ebanks, who was convicted on Monday of being an accessory after the fact to the murder.
Ebanks’s defense team will make their own submissions on Jan. 8, and Justice Charles Quin will deliver his sentence shortly after.
During Tuesday’s hearing, QC Simon Russell-Flint said that by assisting Chad Anglin, who has been convicted of the murder, to dispose of evidence, Ebanks had almost “defeated justice.”
He said his actions had helped the killer, who is his cousin, remain on the loose for more than six years, prolonging the agony for the Bise children.
“The family have had to reside on this island in a small community while the killer and his accessory remained at large, escaping and evading capture for many years,” the prosecutor said.
He read a statement from Ms. Bise, taken following the verdict, in which she said she cannot forgive Ebanks for his role in the killing, and that his actions “prolonged the agony” for her daughters, who were seven and 12 at the time of their father’s death.
She said the publicity surrounding the case and the public revelations about Mr. Bise’s homosexual lifestyle had been upsetting for both children.
In her statement, Ms. Bise said her oldest daughter approached Police Commissioner David Baines at a function to ask if her dad’s death could be re-investigated.
The innocent question happened to coincide with an independent decision of a new Cold Case Unit to look again at the death.
That investigation resulted in the convictions of Anglin for murder, earlier this year, and Ebanks, on Monday, for assisting him in covering up the crime.
During the month-long trial, two women who said Ebanks had confessed to them gave conflicting stories of Ebanks’s role.
Mr. Russell-Flint said it was open to the judge to conclude that he had been involved in destroying the murder weapon, lifting Bise’s badly beaten body into his car, setting the car on fire, destroying clothes worn by Anglin during the crime and stealing property from Bise’s home.
He said his destruction of critical evidence had hampered the investigation to the point that no charges were brought until six years later.
Detective Inspector Dennis Walkington said after the trial that he hoped the convictions of Ebanks and Anglin would finally bring closure to Mr. Bise’s family and friends.
“The Cold Case Unit will continue its review of unsolved homicides and leave no stone unturned in bringing those responsible before the court,” he added.