Bouchard, Aspinall sentences to go before Court of Appeal

Seventeen criminal matters scheduled for hearing

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear arguments next week concerning the sentences of Michelle Bouchard and Robert Aspinall, who are serving terms of imprisonment for theft.

Michelle Bouchard

Bouchard was sentenced in April to 12 years in prison after a Grand Court jury found her guilty of 25 out of 26 charges of dishonesty, including thefts that totaled more than CI$1.5 million and US$829,855.17. The money was stolen from a retired Australian businessman whose Seven Mile Beach condo she shared. She is appealing her sentence, not her convictions.

Aspinall pleaded guilty in July to thefts totaling US$495,000, stolen in the course of his work as an accountant who was appointed as a funds liquidator. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment. The Crown gave notice of appeal on the basis that the sentence was too lenient because Aspinall was in a position of trust.

Both appeals are listed for Monday, Nov. 7. The winter session for Court of Appeal is expected to run from Monday, Oct. 31, to Friday, Nov. 18.

The Crown is also appealing against the sentence of Michell Anderson Gambao Garcia, who received a total of 12 years in September. He pleaded guilty to two offenses of gross indecency with a 5-year-old girl, two counts of rape of a girl he said he thought was 16, and possession of indecent photographs of children. This matter is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11.

The week of Nov. 7-11 also lists appeals by two men convicted twice for the 2012 robbery of the Cayman National Bank branch in Buckingham Square, West Bay Road. George Eric Mignott is appealing his sentence of 12 years. David Tamasa has appeals filed against both conviction and a sentence of 14 years.

Robert Aspinall
Robert Aspinall

Other appellants listed for this session include the four men convicted of robbing Blackbeard’s Liquor Store in Grand Harbour in December 2014. Devon Wright Jr. pleaded guilty and received a nine-year term. He is appealing this sentence. Andrew Lopez, Randy Connor and Bron Webb were sentenced to 12 years; they are appealing both conviction and sentence.

Judith Francia Douglas and Marcia Angella Hamilton are scheduled to have their appeals heard on Thursday, Nov. 3. The women were involved in an immigration scam that led people to hand over $2,500 each in the belief that they would be granted permanent residence in 2009-10. Douglas pleaded guilty to nine counts of obtaining property by deception and received a sentence of two and a half years, which she is appealing. Hamilton was found guilty of six similar charges out of eight and received four and a half years. She is appealing both conviction and sentence.

Four justices of appeal will be on island for the winter session, with three sitting at a time. They are Sir Bernard Rix, John Martin QC, Sir George Newman and Sir Alan Moses.