Woman in nail salon robbery trial awaits judge’s verdict

Evidence and speeches in the trial of Christine Rae-Smith concluded this week, but the defendant will not hear the verdict until next month.

Rae-Smith, a former personal assistant to MLAs Roy McTaggart and Winston Connolly, pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of possessing imitation firearms with intent to commit robbery. She elected trial by judge alone.

Justice Charles Quin heard the matter, but advised counsel this week that his schedule did not allow him time to go over the evidence, reach a decision and write out his reasons before Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Defense attorney Lee Halliday-Davis submitted in her closing address that the Crown’s case did not meet the burden and standard of proof.

Rae-Smith has told the court that she was a victim also, and was in the salon waiting to have her hair braided. The robbery charges relate to the co-owner and two other women whose property was stolen by two men who put them in fear of being subjected to force. The incident occurred on Friday night, July 10, 2015 at Elegant Nails & More in George Town.

The case for the prosecution, conducted by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran, is that Rae-Smith was involved in the planning of the robbery.

Text messages between Rae-Smith and one of the robbers were alleged to be instructions from her. That robber, Paul Myles, has pleaded guilty to the same four charges Rae-Smith faces.

Rae-Smith told the court she has known Myles since they were children and he had borrowed her truck that evening, dropping her off at the salon. The second robber was Antonio Kelly, who has also pleaded guilty.

The men have not yet been sentenced.

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