Bail sureties to pay $22,500 for fugitive

| 07/07/2016 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service

Kirk Market, George Town

(CNS): Three local men who stood surety for an American national who was charged with theft and fraud following allegations that he misled and stole from his employer, Kirk’s Supermarket, were made to cough up $22,500 by a Grand Court judge Thursday. Craig Gaskill (45), who was on bail pending trial, was given permission to travel to the United States by the courts earlier this year when his father became ill. After the crown raised its concerns that he was likely to abscond, the court had insisted on sureties, which Gaskill raised from three Caymanian friends and neighbours, but he never came back.

“People who stand surety must understand the consequences,” Justice Malcolm Swift said as he pointed out that Gaskill had cynically taken advantage of his friends.

Mark Hennings and Ben Webster, who both stood $5,000 each and Michael Myles, who stood $12,500, were given an opportunity to speak to the court about their pending forfeiture.

Justifying why he had put up the cash, Webster said he had become very good friends with Gaskill and was trying to help a man in trouble, who after his arrest had been ruined. He had nowhere to live, no job, no money and he was under significant strain. As friends, Webster said he and his family helped Gaskill, giving him a place to stay, even an allowance as he was virtually unemployable after his former employers had complained to the immigration board when he had tried to get a new job.

Webster said that helping Gaskill in goodwill and friendship when no one else could had taken an incredible toll on his own family and finances, and he said they could ill afford to lose the $5,000 held by the court.

Mark Hennings said that by taking the $5,000 he had put up for Gaskill, the courts would be perpetrating a further injustice, as he claimed Gaskill was virtually “run off the island by a powerful entity”.

As his friend attempted to defend the man who had disappeared while on a bond he had partially funded, Hennings said Gaskill had been hounded and was facing trumped-up charges after his former employers had manipulated the police and the criminal justice system. He said this was not the first time something like this had happened in Cayman but he suggested the courts were now being used to “make three Caymanians lose a lot of money” and furthering the injustice.

Micheal Myles, however, made no comment about the case and said he had helped Gaskill because he was a fellow human in need. Describing him as a shell of a man after the arrest, Myles said he worked with families and was well aware what something like this could do to people, and he had gone “out of pocket to help him”.

Myles said he had no reason to believe Gaskill wouldn’t return but had seen a man who was struggling and needed help. He admitted putting up money he did not have after he learned that Gaskill’s father was very ill and wanted to give him a chance to say goodbye. Myles said he knew what it was like to be in another country where there is no support and no one to help, as he asked the judge to be fair.

Myles said he did not endorse Gaskill’s decision not to return and said he had made calls to try and get him back to face the court. “I considered him a good friend and am disheartened,” he said, as he appealed to the judge to understand the challenge he faced to pay the bond, which he could il afford.

Toyin Salako, the crown prosecutor in the case, pressed the judge to seize the sureties as she reminded the court that she had objected to allowing Gaskill to travel because she believed he would abscond and it was only because of the surety the court had allowed him to do so. She said standing surety was not a decision people should take lightly, as shown by Gaskill’s failure to return, and there had to be consequences.

Justice Swift said he understood the men’s predicament but when they stood as surety for their friend, they were told clearly that the money would be forfeited and that the crown would seek to extradite Gaskill.

The judge said that all people who put up sureties for those on bail risk losing their money. In this case Gaskill had the chance to stand trial and clear his name but he chose not to return.

Given the circumstances, he order that Webster forfeit the $5,000 that had been deposited with the court and gave Hennings 14 days to pay, while Myles was given 28 days to  pay the $12,500 he had put up to help a man he believed was genuinely in need.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Skipped bail? Time to call Dog the Bounty Hunter.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can’t you convict him as an absentee? Failure to show for bail which makes him an international fugitive? Same with the other ones that ran from Cayman never to return. At that point, the information is sent to international interpol for their arrest.

    This conviction would be a charge of failure to show up in addition to whatever charges are up against him if he is found guilty.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you are an expat and are charged with a criminal activity, even if you are innocent, you are screwed.

    You have to find a place to live, you cannot work, so have no money for food, etc. Then after 2 years of living in an impoverished limbo, the crown usually drops the case.

    It is not only expats that go through this, but a least Caymanians have family on island to support them.

    The three men who helped from the goodness of their hearts are now punished as well

    They do say no good deed goes unpunished

  4. Anonymous says:

    this is what you get back for “caymankind” and people wonder why it seems to be drying up!

    They would never have gone out on a limb for that kinda cash for their fellow kin!

    Truth

  5. Anonymous True Born Caymanian says:

    That’s what they get if that were some black poor as person they would never be given permission to leave or less get bail good. Pretty soon he’ll be back on island with residence, owning a home by the canal & driving a luxury vehicle. I feel great when things like this happens, the more it happens the court etc don’t learn….assh**es

  6. anonymous says:

    These 3 guys are an example of what real friends are. They stand by you through thick and thin. So many so called friends show their real color when they are asked for help by hiding their heads in a sand and or blaming a person for his ill fate. I have seen people refusing to help a friend who got ill and needed money for a particular treatment. Not much money by the way.
    Having said that I truly believe that Craig Gaskill will pay the money back. Nobody, and I repeat nobody would forget the generosity of friends giving you a hand when you need it the most. Nobody.

  7. anonymous says:

    Who said he won’t return the money when he gets back on his feet? Why always assume the worst?

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is little wonder there are relatively so few expats in Northward. How many times has this happened now?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment from Mark Hennings, “Gaskill had been hounded and was facing trumped-up charges after his former employers had manipulated the police and the criminal justice system. He said this was not the first time something like this had happened in Cayman.”

    I have no idea whether or not this was the case here but Hennings is correct about one thing – in the past the RCIPS have been used to settle employer/employee disputes in this way. Over the past decade I can think of at least six cases where an employee has been arrested and detained on island for alleged theft after simply falling out with a well-connected local employer. In one of the cases the accused was arrested at ORIA as he was leaving, his passport was seized then he was held on police bail without charge for nearly a year. It’s way too easy for this to happen.

    The other worrying thing is the claim that, “he was virtually unemployable after his former employers had complained to the immigration board when he had tried to get a new job.” If true someone at immigration needs to explain what the heck was going on. I thought this kind of interference (which I have experienced myself) had been stopped.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you read the Cayman compass article it states he deceived his employer and the immigration department by falsifying his education on his work permit application. Why then would the immigration department let this man continue to find work in Cayman? That doesn’t sound like interference it sounds like the guy was a crook.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know this Caskill dude, but lying about his certification to obtain a Management position at a local supermarket, should not deny him the ability to work in (mediocre) jobs that do not require a certification but, at minimum, certain skill sets. So, falsifying education is bullshit. There are people on these islands working at Law Firms and Accounting Firms who claim to have valid certification(s) of there academics yet they’ve been getting the job done and reaping high salaries! AND, THAT’S A FACT. BUT, I AM NOT ON HEAR TO NAME AN SHAME – INDIVIDUALS OR COMPANIES – THE BAD ACTORS. So, not allowing him work on the basis of a FALSE CERTIFICATE is not a good enough reason to deny people wages.

  10. Ed says:

    Three generous people have sadly lost money but the good news is that the country has made thousands of dollars as a result of Gaskill’s failure to return for trial.
    It has been reported that the cost of keeping a prisoner in Northward is $69,000 a year.
    Had he been found guilty and if Gaskill had been sentenced to say, two years, it would have cost Cayman at least $138,000.
    Surely, in light of this windfall it wouldn’t be too much to ask the government to reimburse those three Caymanians who were kind and big-hearted. They have inadvertently done the country’s tax payers a big favour.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Man. This guy is a piece of work. Sorry for those suckered out of their money. None of these frauds want to be held accountable for their actions.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am a generational Caymanian with a good reputation, have my own successful business, never so much as had a traffic ticket in my life and served my country and community for many years.

    I say this statement clearly to all of my fellow Caymanians who unfortunately can be so naive and gullible at times.

    I bet, if I or some other Caymanian had came to any of these gentlemen with the need for money, for some unfortunate and clearly true emergency, I bet 99.9% that each of them would have turned their backs and said, “Bo Bo I can’t help you in these times, things tuff”

    But Instead, you risk you hard earned cash (or lack thereof) with an expat who is accused of stealing large sums of money from a reputable Caymanian business, for him to go on overseas travel.

    I do hope that your utter stupidity will be a lesson to any other Caymanian who tries to play Mr. Nice Guys, to allow an expat to avoid justice in our court of law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Such a Chrisrian statement? I thought we we raised better…Wjat would Jesus do?

    • Marathon says:

      I don’t understand your logic at all. The fact that they, as Caymanians, were happy to help an ex-pat friend/ neighbour, surely suggests they would at least be equally happy to help a Caymanian friend or neighbour in need.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Suckers!

  14. Anonymous says:

    How many of them would have helped a poor Caymanian the same way? Amazing how he had them all fooled.

  15. Wha yah say?! says:

    Wow! what a friend. Putting ppl out pocket thousand of dollars who helped help in his time of need. Trust
    Trust no one and expect the unexpected!

  16. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!!!!! How many times have we seen particular nationalities especially from developed countries be given the chance to leave and knowing very well they are more than likely not returning to the jurisdiction. WHY???? Because of surety money!!! SHAME!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!! on the courts. Furthermore, I feel no shame to say that I have no pity for the three individuals who have put up the surety monies knowing very well the risk they were taking. Now the government will probably have to spend more than the total sum of the sureties that were forfeited to extradite Gaskill. SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    He took advantage of these three mens good nature or ignorance?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow! When I read that he was given bail, I figured they would never see him again. I hope the legal department don’t go now and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money to get him back. They should not have allowed him to leave especially after the crown argued not to., It is very sad that he treated his friends so poorly but I guess it is water under the bridge- next time be careful how you shell out so much money.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So extradition order next. Simple.

    Do so for all of them. Because otherwise the fugitives get away with the crimes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the other side of this- the innocent man (until proven guilty) was railroaded by a powerful company with no evidence and played by the police- justice should be fair, not driven by cronies or cartels. This started last November and it is not a fair or decent court system to ruin a mans life to the point of no return (pun).

      Anyone who shopped there for the past 3 years saw the great changes Gaskill made XXXXXX.

      Police were shameful

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey 7:17am, What absolute bull that there was “no evidence”. There is PLENTY of evidence. I mean, reams of it. He allegedly stole thousands from the employer and every penny of it is documented. The guy also allegedly lied to get the job in the first place. He was fired from his prior job for similar things. XXXX and these three got fooled too. Clearly he is good at what he does. I feel sorry for them, but how people can be so naive I will never understand. The court did the wrong thing by letting him go in the first place, something objected to over and over by the police and prosecutor. This is the court’s fault, but the sureties absolutely should have been confiscated. Remember that this expat could have never gotten off island if not for three Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        What makes you think Gaskill was responsible for the changes at Kirk Market? No doubt he told you that himself. Hmmm.

    • anonymous says:

      He is of the right colour, he will be treated like the woman from the Pines. Gone forever!

  20. Anonymous says:

    No disrespect, but if these people had read a much maligned book, this would not have happened.

    King James Bible
    Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
    Proverbs 22:26

  21. Anonymous says:

    As hard as it may seem the court has no choice. If you stand surety and he absconds you pay. They knew that. Gaskill was innocent until proven guilty and would have had the opportunity to defend himself. He has now shown (beyond any reasonable doubt) what sort of a man he is.

  22. Ben Dover says:

    Wait, Ben Webster can ill afford to lose 5 grand? This is stuff even Simon Courtney would have a hard time making up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Dover, WHY attack such a good citizens for doing a kind and Christian thing? Helping a fellow man in need is what Jesus teaches us, your comment about such a hard working community-minded giving Cayman volunteers and upstanding persons shows you truly are not in the same league as these well respected community men!!
      All of these gentlemen in court not only give money, but countless hours of their time to charity and our community.

      So we should all be selfish and hard hearted or should we look for the best in people and the humanity of man?

      These three men are not expats, they are Caymanians who show the better side of our faith.

      The hatrers here are quick to judge? But walk a mile in another mans shoes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Dover that is a completely inappropriate comment. You have the same bad attitude that your brothers Neil and Bob have.

  23. Dawha Yaget says:

    A recent radio jingle springs to mind.

  24. Anonymous says:

    this shows the man is dishonest and does not care about anyone but himself , if he knew there was no evidence he should have nothing to fear. bright side save the taxpayers some money

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