Dysfunctional Bahamian Courts Let Lawyers Run Rampant
Sonia Timothy Serrette is a crooked Bahamian lawyers. The 42-year-old shyster stole nearly $100,000 from a client. But instead of going to jail, like any other criminal would, the dysfunctional courts of The Bahamas has given Ms Serrette an opportunity to repay the money instead of going to jail.
Even if she ignores the order to repay the client, it is unlikely that Bahamian court judges would send a fellow member of the legal community to Fox Hill prison.
Why is that? Why is it that lawyers get a special break from the courts, when ordinary citizens do not?
Serrette was originally ordered to repay the money by mid-November… but didn’t. Instead of sending her to jail, the court gave her an extension of time to repay the client.
Serrette and attorney Koed Smith asked the court for an extension to secure the $96,967.50 she stole from retired teacher Fiordelisa Bain.
So, here we have a teacher who has been robbed of almost $100,000, a crooked lawyer who refuses to repay the money and a judge who apparently doesn’t care. Sad state of affairs, and no wonder crime is a problem in this country.
Back in October, Serrette’s attorney, Geoffrey Farquharson, told the court that the convict’s friends and associates, whom she relied on to handle her affairs, were not able to gather the money.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethell, who allegedly attends Serrette’s church, gave Serrette another month to restore the funds to the victim.
However, a month later, on November 19, the victim informed the magistrate she had received no funds to date.
So, lawyer, Serrette’s new lawyer Keod Smith said his client had made attempts but was unable to secure the $120,000 due to her as a result of two judgments she won in the Supreme Court.
Serrette had offered an alternative to the complainant in the form of property in Andros valued at twice the amount owed, the court heard.
However, the magistrate said she recalled the property could not be found when a search was done.
Serrette and her attorney then offered the conveyance of her beach front property in Eleuthera, which they said was also worth double what is owed.
Meanwhile, Mr Smith asked the court to use its discretion and give his client additional time to make the necessary arrangements.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethell said she would have to get consent for an extension from the complainant, who has been ‘out of pocket’ and in debt since her money was stolen in 2009.
Ms Bain said she would give them more time but expressed firmly that she did not want property, but rather her money back.
The attorney agreed with the magistrate’s suggestion that it was possible to get a bank loan, using the properties as collateral, and thereby restore the funds.
The extension ends today. Serrette faces two-years imprisonment if she is unable to make restitution.
We will see if justice prevails.corruption, courts, crime, incompetence, law