The medical troubles of a man who is facing multiple fraud charges in several courts were simply not enough to convince a Bridgetown magistrate to release him on bail today.
It is alleged that Cleve Anderson Hoyte of Brighton, St George stole $39,750 belonging to Prophet Fresh Fruit and Variety Ltd sometime between March 26 and April 19 last year, and then $5,000 belonging to the same establishment on April 20, 2016.
The 48-year-old man, who has been on remand since February, was not required to plead the indictable charges when he made his first appearance before Magistrate Douglas Frederick.
When Hoyte went before the same magistrate today, his attorney Ajamu Boardi made a bail application for him to be released, given his health status.
Boardi told the court his client had suffered a “mini stroke” which is a precursor to a “major stroke”.
The lawyer supplied the magistrate with medial documents to substantiate the claim, adding: “He is at a serious health disadvantage and proper care is needed . . . . The chances of a major stroke are very high.”
However, Magistrate Frederick reminded Boardi that his client was currently on bail on several fraud matters dating back to 2014. He also pointed out that since the accused had been granted bail he has never turned up for a hearing, instead furnishing the court with a multiplicity of sick certificates.
“After I granted him bail he never came back, not once! He was sending people to bring medicals for all kinds of medical ailments. He even made the front page of the newspapers for allegations that he impersonated people from the DPP’s Office,” Frederick said.
However, Boardi insisted that while Hoyte did not show up for court, he did send in the necessary papers and had “valid reasons” for being absent. He also pointed out that his client had still not received disclosures in the 2014 cases.
But Frederick was not convinced by the attorney’s arguments, and said he would ask that prison officers ensure that Hoyte receive medical attention when necessary.
“I am not taking a chance on him again on this occasion,” the magistrate said as he ruled that the application for bail had been denied.
“I took a chance before and I am struggling now. I take these mattes seriously and Mr Hoyte is a special case given what happened before.”
But the defence lawyer persisted, saying that while his client could be ill in prison “chances are he [would] not come out at all”, to which Frederick responded that he did not want Hoyte to die in prison.
“I do not want that to happen to anyone,” the magistrate said.
He then asked prosecutor Station Sergeant Neville Reid how soon the Crown would be ready to begin the case. Reid explained that the prosecutors’ office was still conducting interviews, as in one of the fraud cases Hoyte is accused of acting on behalf of Commerce Minister Donville Inniss and a Permanent Secretary. He said it has been hard to pin down the minister, as he was a busy man.
Magistrate Frederick informed the attorney that while he had “strong arguments” for bail, “this is a serious matter. I have to balance him and the interest of society and all of that”.
He then adjourned that matter until May 2.