Bail forfeiture had been ordered
Arthur Screaton, who left Cayman after being charged with theft and false accounting, has been located in the U.S., Crown counsel Candia James told Justice Charles Quin on Friday.
She shared the information after attorney John Furniss spoke on behalf of the person who had stood as surety in the sum of $10,000 for Screaton’s bail bond.
Ms. James said she did not know whether Screaton was in custody – “It’s just that they know where he is.”
She explained that a decision was being made as to whether extradition proceedings will be instituted.
“Or whether he’ll waive his right to challenge that?” the judge queried. “I think a lot of people would like to see him brought back,” he added later.
Mr. Furniss said he would, and so would the surety.
“I hope that we see him back here shortly,” Justice Quin replied.
Mr. Furniss suggested that four weeks should be enough for the Crown to make the decision. Friday, Feb. 13, was set as the next mention date.
Screaton, now 55, was charged with the theft of $4,132 and $6,723 from Rackam’s Bar and C-Blu Lounge between October and December 2010. The alleged false accounting was said to have taken place during the same period. He pleaded not guilty in March, 2012, and his trial was set to start on Sept. 17 that year.
Mr. Furniss gave notice at the time that he would be applying for a variation in bail to allow his client to travel because Screaton had not seen his wife and child for some time. The application was adjourned for a week so that the Crown’s position could be ascertained.
When the Crown did not object, Justice Quin granted permission to travel on condition that Screaton supply the court with his itinerary and post a surety of $10,000.
The defendant, a Canadian national, applied to travel to Denver, Colorado to join his family. Mr. Furniss noted at the time that his client had held his passport for some five months and had not attempted to leave the jurisdiction.
Two weeks before the trial was to have started, the matter was mentioned again for Screaton to choose whether he wanted a jury trial or judge-alone. However, he failed to attend and the presiding judge issued a warrant for his arrest. The Crown counsel at the time asked for a further seven days adjournment. He said he did not know if the Crown would pursue the matter in Screaton’s absence and he was reluctant to vacate the trial date because of the backlog of trials.
In October, 2012, the matter was adjourned generally. A follow-up story in the Cayman Compass indicated that Screaton had been in Cayman 16 years and held permanent residence. He was well known in the community, having managed various restaurants and licensed premises.