Crown pursues case against immigration official

| 26/07/2017 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jeannie Lewis

(CNS): The crown has confirmed it will be pressing ahead with its case against Assistant Chief Immigration Officer Jeannie Lewis (58). The senior immigration official has pleaded not guilty to assisting a person to land illegally and permitting premises to be used for consumption of drugs. She and four other people were arrested at her home in Savannah last August.

Appearing in Summary Court Wednesday, Lewis was bailed until her trial, which has been set for November.

During the short hearing, Lewis’ defence attorney, Richard Barton, raised his concerns that prosecutors were still persisting with the case against his client following a review. He said he was surprised by the director of public prosecution’s decision, given the concerns already raised by the court about the crown’s ability to prove Lewis knew that drugs were being used at her home.

Barton described the idea of charging her over other people’s use of drugs at her house was “archaic”. He said this particular offence had never been prosecuted in the history of the Cayman Islands. During an earlier hearing Barton had expressed his frustrations over the charge, saying that if it was to be pursued, the RCIPS would have to arrest every grandmother in West Bay where kids are smoking weed in their yards.

Barton told the court that a critical witness in relation to the allegation of her assisting an illegally landed person was no longer on island. He said the crown would need to find him before the trial because statements he made before he left Cayman exonerated Lewis on the immigration charge.

Antonio Bullard (33) was one of five people arrested at the immigration officer’s home in Savannah last summer, following a police bust in which a gun and a quantity of ganja was seized. The others arrested were Lewis’ son, his girlfriend and a 19-year-old boy.

Bullard, who is from the Bahamas, pleaded guilty to landing in Cayman illegally last September and was given a 30 day sentence before he was deported. Jay Calvert Ebanks (23), Lewis’ son, is facing charges in Grand Court in relation to the gun. The girl and teenage boy were both released without charge after the raid.

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Category: Courts, Crime, Immigration

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