Sentencing was delayed yesterday for the clergyman convicted of raping a nine-year-old girl earlier this year, after his lawyer failed to show up for court.
The 60 year-old pedophile was scheduled to appear before Senior Justice Hartman Longley for a sentencing hearing which ultimately never got underway after the hiccup.
In fact, court was held up Friday morning after the judge set the matter down twice to allow Whyley time to contact his attorney, Carlson Shurland.
When Whyley returned the first time, he informed the court that he had had no luck after calling his lawyer’s secretary and his cellular phone.
A now grey-haired Whyley told the court that Attorney Shurland’s secretary could not say where Shurland was and he was unsuccessful in getting an answer when he tried to contact the attorney on his cellphone.
Whyley informed the court that he preferred that his lawyer be present for the proceedings, when Senior Justice Longley asked what he wished to do.
“He isn’t present,” the judge replied, “nobody seems to know where he is.”
Not only did the defence lawyer delay the dispensation of justice, he also wasted the court’s resources. And the judge failed to issue a warrant for the attorney’s arrest for contempt of court.
Prosecutor Erica Kemp interjected, telling the court that the date for sentencing was set on September 12 and at that time, Attorney Shurland said it was convenient for him.
She also added that Consulting Psychiatrist at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre and Dr. John Dillette had flown in from New Providence that morning and Probation Officer Andy Laing, of the Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services, was also present.
Dr. Dillette was called to reveal the findings of his psychiatric evaluation and to read into the record the report of Clinical Psychologist Rochelle Basden.
“My Lord, we are ready to proceed. The only question is, My Lord, can we proceed in the absence of Mr. Shurland?”
After Whyley asked for more time to see whether his lawyer would come to court, the judge obliged him until midday.
However, on his return the second time, he informed the court that his position had not changed.
Attorney Kemp insisted that The Crown was ready to proceed and revealed that the Office of the Attorney General had received the probation and psychiatric reports two days earlier and had also forwarded a copy to Attorney Shurland.
But Whyley informed the judge that his attorney had not discussed the contents of the reports with him as he had yet to see or hear from Shurland.
After finding out another date that would be convenient for the psychiatrist, Justice Longley revealed that he was adjourning the matter to Tuesday, November 22.
While the little girl was noticeably absent, her mother, Whyley’s wife and President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council Arnold Pinder, were present.
Whyley was accused and found guilty of raping nine-year-old girl back in February.
The girl told the court that the incident occured after her mother dropped her off at Whyley’s house on February 6, 2011.
She testified that Whyley had taken her and three other children to a relative’s party and after they got something to eat and drink, he dropped the kids home and took her back to his house.
The girl revealed that the two of them were alone and in the front room when he raped her.
The girl said he took her back to the party and told her to say he went to use the bathroom if anyone asked where he was.
The next day, the little girl wrote a letter to her mother about the ordeal and the matter was reported to the police.
The jury brought back the guilty verdict, 6-3, in September, making it the second time in 18 years the clergyman had been convicted of the same crime.
In 1993, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison but a Court of Appeal had reduced his sentence.
Whyley now faces life at Her Majesty’s Prison and returns to court to learn his fate in 11 days.
Original story by Lededra Marche
Freeport News Senior Reporter