Dec 25, 2015 News
By Rehanna Ramsay
Convicted Charlestown businessman, Kevin Jordan, has been released on $1 million bail, pending an appeal of the jail term imposed on him for sodomising a seven-year-old boy.
Last October, Jordan, 58, of Lot 524 Republic Park, East Bank Demerara was sentenced to 18 years in prison for rape following an in-camera trial, at the Georgetown High Court.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Dawn Gregory. The trial judge had imposed the penalty after a mixed 12-member jury returned a majority guilty verdict. The verdict was 11; guilty – 1; not guilty.
However on Monday, Jordan’s lawyers petitioned the Court of Appeal for him to be granted bail, pending an application to overturn his conviction and sentence. The bail was granted by Court of Appeal Judge, B.S Roy, following arguments by State Attorney Judith Gildharie-Mursalin, and a team of lawyers representing the businessman.
The team of lawyers comprising Senior Counsel Rex McKay, Attorneys Neil Boston and Brendan Glasford, based application on a claim that the jury had not deliberated on the case within the specified time.
The attorneys claimed that the jurors had delivered a majority verdict in 80 minutes, which is less than the time specified for them to consider such a decision.
Article 158 of the Criminal Law Procedure Act 10:01 outlines that in matters of non-capital offences, if the verdict is majority and not unanimous (common and undivided), the jury is required to deliberate for at least two hours before arriving at a decision.
Further, it is said that in such cases, the jury must return the verdict in the time specified before it could properly received by the trial Judge. However, Jordan’s lawyers are adamant that the procedure had been breached.
As such, they are seeking a decree by the Court of Appeal that the verdict is invalid.
In the interim, the attorneys requested that Jordan be released on bail. Senior Counsel Mc Kay specifically asked the Judge to start with an amount of $250,000 for bail.
However, State Counsel Gildharie-Mursalin requested bail in a substantial amount. She argued that Jordan was found guilty of a horrific act by the court and therefore is no longer presumed innocent.
The State attorney noted that in instances, which the time of deliberation by jury is being queried; it could be verified by examining the information recorded in the Judge’s minute book.
Gildharie-Mursalin further argued that at this stage, it’s not a matter of Jordan being completely exonerated since in circumstances which the time of deliberation is the issue, a retrial is usually ordered.
After listening to the arguments, Justice Roy released Jordan on $1 million bail, pending the appeal of his sentence.
The bail was granted, since it is likely that the businessman could be successful with the appeal.
However as a condition of his bail, Jordan was also ordered to lodge his passport/travel documents with the Court.
When the allegations surfaced in 2007, Jordan, the proprietor of Jordan’s Spare Parts at High and Broad Streets, Charlestown, was charged for sexually assaulting four minors. The victims were all boys, aged between six and eight years old.
The acts were allegedly committed at the man’s business place. However, the details did not come to light until a seven-year-old student of a primary school located a short distance from the Spare Parts dealership, complained of a pain in his rear.
Blood was found after the child was examined. The boy was subsequently questioned and he implicated the businessman.
Three other boys came forward also alleging that Jordan had committed sexual acts on them during the lunch period at his business place. However, the latter cases never made it to the High Court.
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