Having been remanded on her previous two court appearances, a Colombian woman finally secured bail on her third attempt.
Maria Theresa Machina, 25, was granted bail in the sum of $5,000 with two sureties by Magistrate Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell when she appeared in the District ‘F’ Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
She was charged with assaulting Immigration Officer Carlisle Murray on November 13. However, she was not required to plead to the indictable offence.
Prosecutor Station Sergeant Glenda Carter-Nicholls maintained the Crown’s objection to bail on the grounds that
Machina was a non-national and a possible flight risk.
However, Machina’s new legal team of Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim and Neville Reid, who took over the matter from Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, argued that the month which the Colombian had already spent on remand was equivalent to that of a sentence for a common assault.
Additionally, Pilgrim said his client had been charged with a bailable offence and that she has viable sureties who are Barbadians and who have status here, as her mother is married to a Barbadian and has lived here for the past 15 years.
As a result, he said there was no reason to keep his client on remand at HMP Dodds. Pilgrim also questioned a deportation order which was produced by the Crown. He said the order had been signed by the minister on November 12, even before Machina had been charged.
Pilgrim said they would be looking into the validity of that document.
After listening to both submissions the Magistrate released Machina on bail with conditions.
She must report to Oistins police station every Monday and Friday before 10 a.m. and she must reside with her mother at her Christ Church home. It was disclosed that Machina’s passport was already in the possession of immigration officials.
She is scheduled to return to court on January 24, 2019.