Status scammer appeals ‘bias’ by judge

| 14/09/2020 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service
Justice Carlisle Greaves

(CNS): Judith Douglas, who was convicted in July 2019 of conning an expatriate business owner out of almost $2 million in a Caymanian status scam, has appealed her conviction, largely based on the way she was treated by the acting Grand Court judge who heard the case. Douglas’ attorney argued that the comments made by Justice Carlisle Greaves to his client were unduly hostile, sarcastic, discourteous and prejudicial.

Jonathon Hughes, of Samson Law Associates, who represented Douglas during the appeal, cited numerous examples where the judge intervened while she was giving evidence, such as telling her to shut up when she was presenting her side of the story and describing the job of her lawyer at trial as tedious, given the challenge presented by her client.

Hughes said that the judge had also given legal directions in front of the jury to Douglas that were unnecessary and prejudicial, and he described the conduct of the judge and his comments as a material irregularity that made Douglas’ conviction unsafe. At one point Justice Greaves had asked a prison guard, in front of the jury, why he was sitting so close to her.

The officer had said it was related to her behaviour, a point he repeated three times because the judge could not hear him, ensuring that the members of the jury were in no doubt that the authorities had a dim view of Douglas.

Hughes quoted from the original trial transcript as he submitted to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal that his client’s conviction was unsafe but he told the judges he had requested audio recordings taken during the trial as well because the tone was also important. At one point the transcript records Douglas telling the judge that she was frightened of him.

The court heard that the audio at that point was unavailable but it could be sent on to the judges, who are hearing this summer’s appeal court session via Zoom.

Hughes said that the fear his client had of the judge greatly impacted his client’s ability to put her side of the case and undermined her right to a fair trial.

Hughes argued that, in addition to the problems caused by the judge’s attitude towards Douglas, when he summed up the case to the jury he also made legal errors and was again prejudicial in the way he described the defendant to those who had to weigh up her guilt or innocence based on the evidence alone.

The crown’s case was that Douglas deceived Nathan Robb into giving her around $1.9 million in cash over several years in exchange for securing him first permanent residency and then Caymanian Status through an anonymous contact she knew in Cabinet, who was referred to as ‘Mr Big’.

Douglas had argued that she was just the middle man, or the courier, collecting money and delivery messages between this ‘Mr Big’ and Robb, who was using the front of trying to gain status as a way to take and launder money from his dive business.

She was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.

After hearing the appeal on Friday the panel said that they would consider the arguments and deliver their decision shortly, but no date has been fixed.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (7)

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  1. Anon. says:

    Whatever! The judge may or may not have said some things to her that were unnecessary but the fact is she is a thief and a con-artist and she deserves to be in jail. Period.

  2. Too much 4 play 4 u says:

    Well 2 mil can buy alot of help especially those righteous leather hand bag supporters in Crystal habour and Beach Bay you go girl girl power don’t let that old meanie judge stop you doing yah business in Crown Square .when the devil for us who dare be against us eh?? Certainly not the wicked who are in abundance on this little island!

  3. Hirby says:

    Although most likely correct verdict in this woman’s case, the judge’s character is without a doubt questionable and must be addressed, which is what this appeal is attempting to achieve.

    Let’s not forget this eye-opener of a story:

    “Horny Judge Rebuked”

    (CNS): Justice Carlisle Greaves, who served in the Cayman Islands Grand Court as an acting judge until he retired this summer, has been rebuked by the Court of Appeal in Bermuda for comments he made while presiding over a murder trial in Bermuda about feeling horny. The judge, who demonstrated during his time here that he is something of a character, appears to have crossed a line when, in the middle of the case, he said, “All this sex is beginning to get me horny.”

  4. Anon says:

    Who is paying the legal costs of this appeal, I hardly believe it will be upheld.
    Also I’m surprised at CNS allowing comments before the Appeal Court judges render their decision.

    CNS: The appeal court judges are not deciding the guilt or innocence of the defendant, they are deciding on the legal technicalities of the lower court that have been challenged in this case. It is not therefore sub judice.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a an easy appeal in this case.

    • who cares? I do! says:

      I agree with Anon 5:00pm, CNS supports a lot of things that are anti-judicial, anti-church and anti-government. Nuff said.

      CNS: Bosh. Anti-judicial? I can’t even begin to imagine where you get that. As to “anti-church”, we will support freedom of conscience and all other human rights, on occasion where members of the church are trying to suppress them. “Anti-government” is an accusation that all governments everywhere, and their supporters, say about the media.

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