Man missed trial, must pay cash bond

A man who missed his trial on Tuesday came to court on Wednesday, but an apology for his absence was not enough.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats ordered Akeem Jamaal Seymour to pay a $200 cash bond, in addition to a recognizance and surety, to make sure that he comes to court for his next date.

Seymour, 19, had pleaded not guilty in May to assaulting police, possession of an offensive weapon and affray. He admitted resisting arrest and another date was set for the Crown to review the charges.

On June 9 his trial was set for Aug. 4.

The court file shows that the defendant had not attended by 10:45 a.m. The presiding magistrate released the two police officers who would have been called as part of the Crown’s case.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Foldats told Seymour, “Two witnesses were present. You wasted their time. You wasted the court’s time.”

He pointed out that he had the power to keep the defendant in custody until the next trial date. However, he said he would continue bail with a $200 cash bond.

Defense attorney John Furniss later advised that Seymour could not get $200.

“Then he’ll have to remain in custody,” the magistrate replied.

A little later, Mr. Furniss told the court that a relative of Seymour’s had produced the funds.

Bail conditions were then set. In addition to a recognizance (promise to pay) and a person signing as surety (guarantee) in the sum of $950, the $200 was paid in cash.

Seymour’s new trial date is Feb. 25, 2016.

A defendant who misses a court date can be charged with failure to surrender to custody. It is up to the Crown to lay the charge. In the past, a guilty plea to this charge has typically resulted in a fine of $50 and a conviction on one’s record. The court also had the option to issue a warrant for the person’s arrest, with or without bail.

The Bail Law, last revised in 2010, states that a person released on bail in criminal proceedings shall not fail without reasonable cause to surrender to custody.

Forgetting the date is not a reasonable cause.

The law provides for punishment by way of a fine up to $5,000 and to imprisonment for up to 12 months.