A businessman appeared last week in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court accused of raping two young women whom he met on a dating site.
The 25-year-old St Catherine resident is also accused of abducting one of the women and stealing her cellular phone. The incidents reportedly occurred in January and February of this year.
But on Friday, the accused man’s lawyer, Shauna-Gay Mitchell, strongly denied the allegations before pleading unsuccessfully with Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey for bail.
“I have one word in Jamaican parlance to describe him — a ginnal,” RM Pusey said.
“Perhaps my client has a sweet mouth,” Mitchell replied.
The attorney then told the court that based on instructions from her client, he met both complainants on a dating site called Badoo and, in separate instances, had consensual sex with them. However, she said the women, who are friends, found out that her client was dating both of them and concocted the story.
Mitchell said that in one of the instances the complainant met his client at a guest house on Hagley Park Road in Kingston and engaged in sex.
The lawyer said that following the act her client and the woman sat and watched television and chatted. However, things turned sour after the complainant asked her client for money.
According to Mitchell, her client told the complainant that he did not have any cash, and would have to go to an ATM. But when they got to the machine it was not working and both parted ways on good terms.
In the second case, the lawyer said: “They had a romantic drive out to Port Royal in Kingston and the act happened and it was purely consensual.”
RM Pusey interjected: “He must be the most unfortunate person to go on a dating site.”
But Mitchell told the magistrate that she did not believe her client was unfortunate as people often make decisions that they later regret.
Mitchell then told the court that the charges were fabricated by the complainants who were unhappy over the fact that her client was having his way with both of them.
“The two complainants are friends, and they found out that my client was seeing both of them and they wanted to get back at him,” Mitchell said.
But she was quickly corrected by the magistrate who told her, “Miss Mitchell, they weren’t really seeing him.”
The magistrate then added: “And as you’ve said before, he has a sweet mouth, and I believe he gave you a sweet story.”
The magistrate then told the attorney that she would not be granting the accused bail.
“He won’t be meeting anyone on a dating site for now,” RM Pusey said.
Mitchell, though, said: “He would not abduct anyone and take them to a public place like a guest house.”
But the magistrate told her that the woman could have consented to go to the hotel and based on what transpired after, a case of abduction could arise.
“Save it for the jury; I am not buying,” the magistrate told the attorney.
However, Mitchell told the court that she had forgotten to point out that her client was a kidney patient and that she was seeking bail on humanitarian grounds.
She said that her client had an episode while in custody and had to be taken to a doctor who treated him and gave him a long prescription.
“So let him take his medicine,” the magistrate said.
But Mitchell told the magistrate that her client needed more than medication.
The magistrate told her that she could get a report from the doctor to substantiate her request.
The accused was then remanded and is scheduled to return to court on March 24.
Men spend money deposited to their accounts in error
Two men who together ripped off their employer, the Jamaica Public Service Co-operative Credit Union, of $1 million after the money was erroneously transferred to their accounts were brought before the court on a charge of simple larceny.
The accused men — Garfield Mills and Oliver Linton — were employed as part-time plant operator and labourer.
The court heard that there was a glitch in the computer system which caused a little over $500,000 and just over $400,000 to be deposited to the men’s bank accounts. The money was subsequently withdrawn by the men, who were later arrested and charged.
On Wednesday when the men appeared in court they both admitted that they had taken the money. However, they said that they had started to repay the money each month from their salaries.
“I wouldn’t say that it was stealing, ’cause it is my account I am taking the money from,” Mills said in court.
But Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey asked him if he had placed money in the account.
“No ma’am,” he replied.
“Then what you call that? It is plain and simple stealing,” RM Pusey said.
Mills then told the magistrate that when he was contacted by the bank and questioned about the withdrawals he quickly admitted to them and made arrangements to repay the money since last December.
“So I am working right now and I am not getting any pay,” he stated.
“You have anything else to say?” the magistrate asked.
“Up to yesterday was pay day and I don’t get no money,” he replied.
Linton gave a similar story in his defence.
“I start paying back mine from September. I get $88,000 a month and I have been paying them back with all of it,” he said.
The magistrate, however, was not impressed.
“You all make it sound so sterile and clean. The bank called, you went in and made arrangements to pay back the money, but how about the little part of pilfering, the stealing part?” she said. “You should go to prison for it, as you have no claims of right to the money. You think the money dropped like manna from heaven?
“You don’t put no money in the account and you gone to draw it out!” Pusey said, before remanding both men for sentencing on Monday.
Landlord and tenant dispute
A landlord was dragged before the court for reportedly renting one of two rooms that he had already let to another tenant.
“I just came home one day to find people living in my daughter’s room,” said the complainant, who explained that he had rented the place for him and his 13-year- old daughter.
However, the accused landlord, Carman Harley, denied his tenant’s account, claiming that the man was unable to pay the rent and had agreed to give up one of the rooms.
But that was denied by the tenant.
He told Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey that he rented the room from the accused but at the time explained to him that he was experiencing difficulties getting his money from the bank and asked for a few days to sort out the bank issues.
However, the landlord, he said, went behind his back and moved another person into the room.
“I am a customs broker and I deal with a lot of money, and sometimes I have to take it home, so I can’t trust no one; I have to have my own room,” he said.
“I have a 13-year-old daughter and she needs her own room, so I could never tell him to take one of the rooms,” the complainant added.
But the landlord insisted that he had spoken to the complainant about the room as the complainant was having difficulties paying his rent.
The landlord told the court that when the complainant visited him about the rooms he came with $10,000 and a cheque for $90,000. But the landlord said he told the complainant to change the cheque and did not see him until weeks after.
“When I ask him for my rent, bare runaround and from him move in from last year I have only collected $10,000,” the landlord said. “He tell me he was in Barbados and that he has $1.5 million in the bank, and from him give me the deposit all now mi can’t get mi rent.
“He consented with me to rent one of the bedroom, ’cause he can’t afford the rent,” he added.
But the complainant interjected: “That never happen, and could never happen.”
RM Pusey then told the landlord that he could not operate like that and the matter will have to be tried.
The accused was bound over to return to court on March 28.
Police impersonator denied bail
A man who reportedly impersonated a police inspector and collected $6,000 from a motorist in order not to seize his vehicle was again denied bail, despite his claim that he was experiencing back pain.
Attorney CJ Mitchell, who had applied for bail for the accused, Derrick Thompson, begged the magistrate to offer his client bail based on his condition.
Thompson told the court that he was recently involved in an accident and that he was experiencing back pain and that his blood count was low.
However, the magistrate told him that she was not prepared to grant him bail.
“Is not like I am heartless, but this man is a perpetual troublemaker,” she said. “This man going around and impersonating police and robbing people and collecting their money and prosecuting them and when them arrest him, him say him have back pain.
“I am not granting him any bail. I will take my little struggle bus and go by Food For the Poor and get him a bed. I am only sorry I can’t get him a Sealy Posturepedic,” she said, eliciting laughter from the court.
“Ma’am, I am suffering. I am begging you, please,” Thompson pleaded.
The magistrate then told him that if he could get a report to say that he would die if he remained in custody she would grant him bail.
He was subsequently remanded for trial on March 11.
The court was told that on January 6, around 5:45 pm, the complainant was driving his Honda CR-V along King Street, downtown Kingston. On reaching the intersection with North Street, Thompson reportedly signalled him to stop and he complied.
Thompson reportedly identified himself as a police officer and pointed out several road traffic breaches that the complainant had committed, among them driving with a broken brake light and driving an unlicensed vehicle.
Thompson then reportedly solicited $10,000 from the complainant to avoid seizure of his vehicle, but the complainant agreed to pay him only $6,000.
The complainant reportedly drove to a nearby Automated Teller Machine, with Thompson following closely behind, and after the complainant withdrew the money, Thompson reportedly collected it and drove off.
A report was later made to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency and an investigation was launched into the matter, resulting in Thompson being arrested and charged with obtaining money by false pretence and impersonating the police.