An ex-policeman who ran afoul of the law has found himself without any attorney-at-law to defend him on charges of fraud.
44-year-old Elvin Phillip is accused of duping a number of persons of over $50, 000 in down payment given to him for vehicles from overseas.
Chief Magistrate Her Honour, Tamara Gill who presides over the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court has given the ex-cop until July 4 to retain counsel or defend himself in the matter.
Phillip who is facing 5 counts of fraud by false pretence was placed on $70, 000 bail in March when he made his first court appearance before the Chief Magistrate.
He was represented then by defense attorney, Francis Williams.
However, when the matter came up in court last week Thursday, attorney Williams informed the Chief Magistrate that he had withdrawn his services because he was not paid by the accused.
As a result, Phillip, who is facing 1 indictable charge and 4 summary charges, informed the court that he would be defending himself in the matter.
Chief Magistrate Gill advised him to try and retain another counsel due to the seriousness of the charges brought against him.
Criminal attorney Peter David who was present in court rose on his feet and requested additional time be given to Phillip to find another counsel.
This intervention by attorney David did not sit well with the Police Prosecution team being led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor.
The ASP did not challenge Phillip’s right to an attorney but expressed the view that the accused had enough time to make the necessary arrangements and was purposefully playing games with the court system.
In response, the Chief Magistrate noted that the case was previously adjourned on March 7 with intention to start the Preliminary Inquiry on June 8 (last week) Thursday.
She granted the ex-policeman a short adjournment until July 4 but warned him that the matter will proceed on that day whether he is ready or not.
“Mr Phillip, you have to get serious. I will give you a short time to make the necessary arrangements (but on the next occasion) ready or not we are going to proceed because I cannot keep adjourning the matter,” the Chief Magistrate said.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Phillip is accused of collecting monies from 5 individuals as payment and down payment in some cases for imported vehicles that never reached their respective owners after months of waiting.
The ex-cop is accused of committing the unscrupulous acts during the period October 2016 to January 2017.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the complainants in the matter stand to lose heavily in the case as $5, 000 is the most that the Court can award as compensation.
If convicted, Phillip can be ordered to pay compensation in a stipulated time and in default serve a prison sentence.
However, once the matter concludes at the level of the Magistrate’s Court, the complainants are left with the option of taking civil action against Phillip in order to recover their monies in full.