Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim wants to know why a bail hearing for a jailed attorney can’t get a date on the docket of the Court of Appeal.
Pilgrim, who is representing Vonda Minerva Pile, who was convicted in June last year and sentenced in September for stealing money from a client, is also looking for answers about why it has taken the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Barbados in excess of two months to assign the matter.
On September 5, 2019 Pile was sentenced to three years at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds, minus the 94 days she had already spent on remand, after she was found guilty two months prior, by a 7-2 majority verdict for stealing $191,416.39 (US$96,008.22) from former client Anstey King between April 29, 2009, and October 26, 2010.
“As of today, assuming good behaviour, Vonda Pile has 599 days left to serve on that sentence,” Pilgrim told Barbados Today.
“The principle relied on in the bail application is that if the majority of your sentence will be completed before the appeal is resolved, then bail should be granted.”
Pilgrim said Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson heard the application on October 2, 2019. “The respondents in the DPP’s office (Director of Public Prosecutions) did not object to bail and conceded that appeals of this type are not likely to be heard in less than the sentence period.”
That bail application was denied.
However, a frustrated Pilgrim explained that an application for a review of the bail refusal by “the full Court of Appeal” was filed in the Court of Appeal registry on November 21. “It has not been assigned to a full court,” he said.
“So, since November 21 to today, the Registrar has given no excuse for the delay of nearly three months of hearing this appeal of the bail refusal by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson,” he added.
He further stated that the Chief Justice adjourned the case management of the matter on January 7 and agreed to entertain a further bail application on February 3.
“On Monday . . . the Chief Justice did not attend court neither did any of his court staff and Vonda Pile was not brought from the prison,” Pilgrim stated.