Friday 19 July, 2019

Accused fraudster with kidney problems granted bail

Parish Judge Maxine Ellis was in a merciful mood on Tuesday inside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

She was faced with a case that demanded her to make a humanitarian decision and she did just that.

Sitting in the docks was accused fraudster Arlene Beckford, whose attorney, Michael Williams, pleaded with the judge to offer his client bail due to her medical condition. 

Beckford was arrested by cops from the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency, (MOCA) after she was accused of fleecing US$16, 366.62 while falsely pretending to be a sales agent for a plot of land in Hope Pastures, St Andrew.

She was slapped with the charges of obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to defraud, and locked up at the Central Village Police Station where female detainees are held.

Williams pleaded that his client had just been released from the hospital, after being treated for kidney disease, when she was picked up by the police. He said that she was subsequently visited by a doctor at the lock-up. But, he said despite the doctor's recommendation that she be taken to hospital due to the failing state of her kidneys, the police had failed to heed the medical practitioner's advice and he feared for the health of his client.

Judge Ellis seemed moved by Williams' plea but had second thoughts when she was told by the attorney that Beckford was convicted for a second matter similar in nature and was to be sentenced this week.

"The accused has another offense in 2013? Now I have a real challenge. This does not auger well," the Magistrate said.

"The defendant must be taken to hospital and, when they are done, she needs to go back into custody," the judge added. 

The court was also told that the rightful owner of the land she allegedly attempted to sell while posing as an agent for Integrated Trade and Service Solutions Ltd, had no knowledge of the sale and had given no one authority to sell the asset.

The judge thought long and hard and then made a decision to grant Beckford bail in the sum of $2 million with one or two sureties.

Her trial will begin on November 19 this year.

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