A woman who injected dangerous substances into the faces of two female clients in 2017 was sentenced Monday to five months in prison.
Appearing in Summary Court, Zunilda Anaya Baldovino listened through a Spanish interpreter during the sentencing proceedings.
Crown prosecutor Darlene Oko told Magistrate Philippa McFarlane that a significant custodial sentence was needed to reflect the level of damage Baldovino had inflicted. Oko said the sentence also needed to serve as a deterrent to others who might think about following suit.
“If you choose to make the decision to step out- side to what you know you are not trained for; what you are not licensed for; if you choose to put your clients at harm, then the message needs to be that you are likely to face a substantial custodial sentence,” Oko said.
Baldovino had been convicted in 2014 for importing banned pharmaceuticals. While that had nothing to do with the 2017 matters, Oko said it was proof that Baldovino had not learned from her previous misguided actions.
“She knew the seriousness of the offence,” Oko said. “She clearly had been warned by the court in 2014 after having [been] convicted of a similar offence. She still proceeded to continue and her actions resulted in the unnecessary suffering of both complainants.”
In July this year, Magistrate McFarlane convicted Baldovino on two counts of reckless and negligent acts following a trial that stretched across some 10 months, due largely to numerous delays.
When offering mitigating arguments, defence attorney Jonathon Hughes told Magistrate McFarlane the delays should result in a reduced sentence to reflect the hardship those delays had caused on Baldovino.
“My client is not from Cayman, and she for the last three years has not be able to leave Cayman due to her bail conditions,” Hughes said. “During that time, she has not been able to work, because she could not get a permit in light of the charges she faces. So, for the last three years, she has had to depend on the good- will of friends and family for financial support.”
Hughes argued that the circumstances were such that Baldovino had to endure severe financial, mental and emotional hardships during the last three years. Furthermore, he believed imprisonment would not solve any problems, as Baldovino would have to leave Cayman followingconclusion of the matter.
He said, “When it’s all finished, she will most likely be deported, which means she won’t be able to administer more injections even if she wanted to, which means she will no longer be of any threat to the people of Cayman.”
Magistrate McFarlane imposed a six-month sentence for each count of the reckless and negligent acts, to run concurrently. She increased that sentence to nine months to reflect the aggravating factors, but then reduced it to five months to reflect the delays. Baldovino was also sentenced to eight days in prison for an unrelated traffic matter, which will also run along- side the other two counts.
No compensation order was made against Baldovino; however, a recommendation for deportationwas made.