Sentencing was adjourned on Monday for a former civil servant who pleaded guilty to theft and obtaining property by deception while serving as facilities administrator between 2011 and 2016. The total theft involved was more than $30,800.

Trisha Marissa Jackson, 39, admitted in May this year that she had stolen $18,890 that had been paid for rental of the South Sound Community Centre between 2011 and 2017.

Crown counsel Toyin Salako told Magistrate Valdis Foldats this week that the monies had been paid to Ms. Jackson by a volunteer with the Mothers and Toddlers playgroup, which met at the center. Those who attended paid $8 per session and the organizer paid the rental fee to government in advance, first on a twice-yearly basis and then annually. The group did not have a bank account and paid cash, Ms. Salako noted.

The defendant started employment with government in 2011 and started stealing in 2011, Ms. Salako told the court.

When the rental fee was paid, Ms. Jackson gave a receipt, which was purported to be genuine but which turned out to be forged. When she did not issue a receipt, she sent an email.

- Advertisement -

Ms. Jackson resigned from the civil service in August 2016. In 2017, the director of her department raised a concern because there was no record of the customer’s rent payment.

The woman was able to produce her records and receipts, but internal investigation showed that the cash paid had not been deposited to any government account or with the Treasury Department.

If the customer had not kept her receipts, she would have been in a difficult position, Ms. Salako observed.

The money has not been repaid, she added.

The other offense concerned Kirk Office supplies, to which Ms. Jackson sent unauthorized orders for products, along with invoice numbers. On most occasions, she collected the items from the store herself. By this method, she obtained $11,924.68 worth of goods by falsely representing that the purchases were for legitimate Cayman Islands government business. None of the items were received by government.

Ms. Salako said sentencing guidelines indicated a range of one to three years, with a starting point of two years. Aggravating features included the amount of planning that had gone into the offenses and the fact that they were breaches of trust.

Defense attorney Crister Brady spoke in mitigation.

The magistrate had previously ordered a social inquiry report and a victim impact report. He indicated he would be considering those, along with all that had been said that day.

He warned that the sentence he imposed would be immediate imprisonment, not suspended. The date for sentence was set as Monday, Aug. 27, at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile, he extended bail with a recognizance and surety in the sum of $1,500.

- Advertisement -

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now