Grand Court adjourns charges for man missing at sea since March

Charges against a missing defendant, Gary Owen Mullings, were adjourned without a new date after senior Crown Nicole Petit advised that the prosecution did not wish to withdraw them.

Ms. Petit appeared in Grand Court on Wednesday and reminded Justice Charles Quin that the matter had last been mentioned in May, when the court was advised that Mr. Mullings had gone missing “and may have been lost at sea.”

Her application at this stage was to have the matter adjourned “sine die,” meaning that no date would be set at this time for another mention. Ms. Petit did not wish to withdraw the charges because there was not any definitive proof of death, such as a death certificate.

Sufficient time has not yet passed for the missing man to be legally presumed dead, she indicated.

Attorney Prathna Bodden advised that the firm of Samson and McGrath had been asked if they had any contact with Mr. Mullings, but they had not.

Justice Charles Quin said the situation was very sad for Mr. Mullings’s family. He granted the application for adjournment.

Mr. Mullings was 41 when he first appeared in Summary Court in April 2015, on five charges. They related to alleged wrongful transfers of sums of money to a bank business account for which he was the account holder and signator. The sums involved were CI$127,100 and US$174,689.47 and two charges were for dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit – knowing or believing that the transfers were made in error, but failing to take reasonable steps to cancel the credit.

He was further charged with acquiring criminal property, namely CI$57,900 cash and US$35,800 cash, by way of ATM withdrawals between Dec. 10 and Dec. 29, 2014. The final charge was using criminal property – using CI$37,719.40 from the account by means of debit card point-of-sale transactions at various locations for the purchase of goods and services between Dec. 9 and Dec. 29, 2014.

He first appeared in Grand Court on June 5, 2015, and periodically thereafter. At that first hearing, his attorney told the court that representations were being made for repayment of the funds used.

On Sunday, March 6, 2016, Mr. Mullings went fishing with two young nephews and two other adults in a 28-foot panga-style boat. They were last seen by another boat sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. that day leaving 12 Mile Bank and heading toward George Town with one engine operating. Their capsized craft was spotted 20 miles southwest of Grand Cayman by the police helicopter Monday morning. Police recovered the upturned vessel Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, private vessels assisted in searching for the missing boys and men, but no sightings of any survivors were reported.

 

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