Woman AWOL at hearing for theft conviction

| 26/03/2015 | 15 Comments

(CNS): A local woman who was convicted of stealing from the National Drugs Council earlier this year failed to appear for her sentencing hearing Thursday. Kimberlee McLean-Bryan (29) had admitted one count of false accounting and two of theft during her time at the government drug agency in January and had been bailed to return this week but the court heard she had left the country to find work.

Represented by local attorney Charles Clifford, McLean-Bryan was accused of falsifying time sheets and cashing unauthorized cheques, embezzling around $14,000 while she was working as an administrative officer at the NDC between April 2011 and February 2012.

Following her conviction McLean-Bryan was sacked, and although bailed until her sentencing hearing, she was unable to find another job in Cayman.

Explaining his client’s absence, Clifford told the court that she had become increasingly desperate when, with three small children, first her utilities were cut off and then she was evicted from her home. With no other family support, the woman left the island after finding a temporary job in Tampa, Florida, in order to provide food and a home for herself and her children.

“She felt compelled to take up employment overseas, which ends in May, and she has asked for an adjournment until then,” Clifford said. He added that she had asked him to apologise to the court on her behalf but she found herself “in a very difficult and desperate position”.

The judge was less than impressed, however, with the woman’s failure to turn up for the hearing and that she had failed to comply with a court order regarding her co-operation with the probation service to complete a pre-sentencing social enquiry report.

Justice Charles Quin said that the social workers had tried very hard to track her down but had received just one email and she had made no effort to co-operate with them for the report, despite his order during McLean-Bryan’s last court appearance in January. He said she could have contacted them and made arrangements for the interview.

“Her first obligation was for her to be here,” the judge said, as he raised his concerns about the situation, indicating she had ignored a court order.

Clifford said he too had encountered problems contacting her and that had she consulted him, he would have advised her not to take the course of action. But he said he believed she was in a very desperate situation and feared for the welfare of children and made a decision, albeit that it wasn’t a correct one.

In the end, the judge gave the woman a chance and adjourned the case until 5 June. Although he issued a warrant for McLean-Bryan’s arrest to return for bail, he stayed it until the scheduled date.

Tags:

Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    No doubt led astray by driftwood or furreigners. The only explanation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Immigration should access her communications with her attorney. There is no privilege when the client is committing a crime.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe she is also American?

  4. Anonymous says:

    And there’s presumably going to be an inquiry into how immigration let her off the island? Fact of life – you don’t pull a stunt like this without help.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The time it takes for the information regarding the conviction to reach the police clearance records department is about as long as it takes the information about a Caymanian and expat divorcing take to get from the courts to Immigration. Why her passport(s) was/were not surrendered is beyond me and now will she ever return.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sooo… How much was her bond?? Is a ‘local’ not required to have a bond? I guess being convicted doesn’t get your passport taken from you so that you are not a flight risk. How does a person convicted of theft from her employer get a job in another country? I guess that conviction wasn’t on her resume…
    Everyone got so worked up about Arthur Screaton ‘absconding’ and he wasn’t even convicted of anything yet!

    • SSM345 says:

      Flying away from your problems implies guilt, if you were not guilty then why not clear your name first then leave?
      If anyone put a surety up, they have now lost it.
      Perhaps she wasn’t deemed a flight risk, that is why they did not take her passport or maybe they did, but like many other Caymanians she has a US or UK that she can fall back on?
      And as she was not convicted of this crime at the time of flight, these charges were not entered on her record, because you don’t get one until you are found guilty of a crime.

      • Anonymous says:

        Check the U.S. Embassy requirements for visas. Even arrests must be disclosed. The fact you have not yet been convicted is irrelevant.

        • SSM345 says:

          Couldn’t give a rats ass what the US Embassy requirements state about being arrested, they have no record of it, so why admit it if you have not been found guilty?
          They also ask if you have ever been associated with Terrorism, how many people do you think admit that?

        • Anonymous says:

          But she has been convicted. Guilty as charged.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why was this person allowed to leave the island in the first place? Geez! Have they never heard of stop notices through immigration?? I guess they do when it’s too late. If she does not return then what?? I don’t know why there are so many female thieves of late but no matter how desperate the situation do not steal! Furthermore, these young ppl need access to free birth control so they have no excuse to keep breeding when they can’t afford the kids. Government – at least make this happen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, did she travel to the US on a freshly minted clean police clearance certificate in support of a visa waiver?

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s the point to imprison thieves, they should have to repay the amount they stole. Punishment, community service picking up litter on the roadside. This would eliminate the cost to government, if incarcerated.

You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please support independent journalism in the Cayman Islands