The trial of a clerical officer, accused of stealing over a million dollars belonging to the Psychiatric Hospital, is currently underway in the High Court.
The Crown is currently presenting its case against Anderson Ryan Ince of Hannays Road, St Lucy, who was earlier released on $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty to the charges back in 2006.
It is alleged that sometime between August 1, 2003 and August 1, 2005, Ince stole $1,118,500, belonging to the Black Rock, St Michael institution and vested with the Central Bank. He is also accused of laundering the funds.
Attorneys Steve Gollop, Charmaine Delice-Hunte and Neil Marshall are representing the accused man while Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard, QC, is prosecuting the Crown’s case, along with Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale and crown counsels Oliver Thomas and Olivia Davis.
Today, Madam Justice Michelle Weekes heard from Ince’s ex-fiancé, Marsha Gill, who said she met the accused man while working at the mental institution as a nursing assistant.
Under questioning from the lead prosecutor, Gill said she knew that her fiancé worked in the administrative division of the hospital as a clerical officer. However, Gill said she did not know his monthly salary. She also revealed that they lived together in a three-bedroom rented house in St Joseph for approximately seven years and “shared [the rent] half, half”.
During that time, Ince “gifted her” with a Toyota Platz motorcar, but Gill said she did not know who paid for the vehicle.
“I assumed it was him . . . he gave it [the car] as a gift,” she said, adding that they also took a vacation between the 2003 and 2006.
“We went to New Jersey by my sister,” the witness said.
However, she told the nine-member jury she could not remember who paid for the tickets for she and her daughter, as well as Ince to travel, neither did she know the cost of her vehicle.
She also revealed that Ince had purchased her engagement ring, along with wedding bands, but again she did not know the cost of the items.
“I just went to look [at Columbian Emeralds] not to purchase . . . I did not look at the prices,” she said, while identifying the pieces of jewellery in court this afternoon.
A previous witness – Angela Reifer who works at Columbian Emeralds International – told the court that she had identified in July last year several pieces of jewellery, presented to her by the police. Among them a three-stone pendant valued at US$3,000 with matching US$4,000 earrings; a five-stone princess cut diamond 14-carat gold ring, costing over US$6,000 and a gents diamond gold set in 14-carat white gold worth US$5,000.
Under further examination, Gill admitted to being “curious” about how Ince could afford some of the items. However, she said Ince had told her he had a side job, even though she told the court she could not remember what that was.
“[Discussions] about finances always brought noise . . . so I chose not to ask about finance,” Gill said.
However, she admitted to being “shocked” after a search warrant was executed at their home and the jewellery and other valuables confiscated amid the investigations into alleged theft at the Psychiatric Hospital.
A number of other witnesses have also given evidence, including Ince’s friend Terryann Badenock who told the court that the accused man had approached her “about something that would help me out in my financial situation”.
After revealing to Badenock that he supplies the Psychiatric Hospital with vegetables, he reportedly asked her for her national insurance number, national registration number, the spelling of her name and address.
Badenock was later shocked to learn from Ince that a cheque in the amount of $20,000 was to be deposited into her account.
“I was not looking for that amount,” she said disclosing that a subsequent cheque of $15,000 was also deposited in the account, which she shared with her husband. However, she was subsequently instructed by Ince to write cheques to him for various amounts.
The trial continues tomorrow at 10 a.m.