Attorney-at-law Norman Leroy Lynch denies any theft of a client’s money although he does not know what happened to the funds on his clients’ account.
“I did not steal money belonging to the estate of Arthur Thomas. I cannot say what happened to my account or the monies on them,” the accused lawyer told the jury hearing the evidence in his theft and money laundering trial.
Lynch is accused of stealing $50 000 belonging to the estate of Arthur O’Neal Thomas between August 18, 2005 and December 21, 2008. He is also charged with stealing $407 634, the proceeds of a FirstCaribbean International Bank cheque made payable to Leroy Lynch and belonging to Thomas’ estate between June 22, 2007 and December 21, 2008.
Further, the lawyer is accused of money laundering in the disposal of $457 634, being the proceeds of crime, also between June 22, 2007 and December 21, 2008.
Addressing the jury on Thursday in the proceedings presided over by Justice Randall Worrell, the accused stated his profession and said he had never been in trouble with the law.
He explained that he practiced on his own from early 1980 “until I became ill and breakdown” sometime in March 2007.
“I don’t even recall ever going back to the office, certainly not practicing,” Lynch said from a prepared statement.
“Since then, when interviewed by several police officers a few times I could not give a detailed response because I could not recall. I couldn’t remember. Plus I got tired.
“After my . . . collapse I did not have sole conduct of my practice at times. I believe the staff managed matters in my absence. Sometime between the collapse and the police interviews I was referred to a psychiatrist but did not attend because of the stigma involved,” he said.
His attorneys Marlon Gordon, Rico Blackman and Michelle Gibson then called his doctor to give evidence on his behalf.
Dr Sharon Marie Watson, a general practitioner, told the No. 2 Supreme Court that she had seen Lynch “periodically” since July 17, 1998 and had been treating him for hypertension.
She revealed that she saw Lynch in May 2009 and referred him to psychiatrist Dr Richard Corbin.
Under Cross Examination by Crown Counsel Romario Straker who is prosecuting the case with Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis, the doctor further revealed that she referred Lynch to the psychiatrist as he was complaining of “depression, with a decreased interest in normal activities”. She said he also stated that he had been “away from work for a period of approximately two years”.
Dr Watson stated that she was not a mental health expert and as such made the referral after listening to her client but she never made a specific diagnosis of her own, adding that she was aware that he did not go to the doctor to whom he had been referred.
Asked whether Lynch had, in the years of 2006 and 2007, complained of any mental health issues Dr Watson replied “no” but noted her patient said he lacked energy and felt “tired”.
“On no occasion did I give him any time off from work,” she said with regards to 2007.
Station Sergeant Roger Craigg who is attached to the Criminal Investigation Department at Central Police Station was also called to the witness stand.
The officer stated that he was not able to locate the station dairy relating to Lynch for the period March 10 and 11, 2011.
The defence then closed its case following which Justice Worrell adjourned the matter until Tuesday, April 5 when attorneys on both sides will address the jury.