Lawyer performs theatrical act during bail application
John Nathaniel Bancroft of Odessa McClean Drive, St Michael will spend a further 28 days on remand despite a dramatic application for bail by his attorney-at-law in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court Wednesday.
The 42-year-old man was remanded to HMP Dodds on March 14, accused of knowingly possessing without lawful authority or excuse, two forged US$50 bank notes, purporting them to be genuine notes issued by the Federal Reserve of New York.
He was not required to plead to the indictable charge when he made his first appearance before Magistrate Douglas Frederick in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
Wednesday, before the same magistrate, Bancroft’s lawyer Mohia Ma’at made another application for his client to be released pending trial.
Ma’at admitted that his client had eleven such charges before the court, which could see him facing a maximum of 14 years on each count if found guilty.
“I am trying to do the Mathematics; that’s 154 years?”
As part of his bail application Ma’at submitted to the magistrate that stringent conditions be imposed on his client.
“Put as one of his conditions [that] he has to have in his possession at all times a counterfeit pen,” Ma’at stated as he pulled out a pen still in its package, and placed it in front on Bancroft who was standing in the dock.
“This is the solution, Sir,” the lawyer declared, as he told Bancroft: “That is yours provided that you have the shackles taken off. That is yours.”
However, prosecutor Neville Reid in his objection to the bail application, told the magistrate: “I will be doing an injustice to society, Sir, if I agree with counsel. Our objections stand, Sir.”
Magistrate Frederick ruled in favour of the prosecution saying that the solution did not lie with a counterfeit pen.
“Every lawyer should have one of those pens, especially you,” the magistrate said.
He then pointed out that the aggravating factors of the case were such that he could not grant the accused man bail, as one of the Crown’s objections was the allegation that Bancroft was in court “when he was caught passing the money”.
“I will monitor the situation . . . but I cannot accommodate you at this time,” Frederick told Ma’at as he adjourned the matter until May 10.