Leroy Jones, the attorney representing Little Dix Hill resident Tambu Frett in a developing smuggling case, was unsuccessful in his attempt to deescalate the matter at the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Frett had already pleaded guilty to smuggling a man into the territory on April 3 and was about to be sentenced when the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions brought fresh allegations that he was involved in a much larger ‘smuggling operation’.
Jones, argued that his client took issue with the new evidence that was brought before the court at what he described as ‘the 11th hour’.
“This honourable court is being asked to consider the evidence for the offence which the defendant has not been charged, let alone convicted. The evidence, at its highest, relates to [Mr Frett] allowing prior acts; forming no part of the single count for which the defendant stands convicted,” said Jones, who further argued that his client continues to show significant remorse for the offence.
“Having outlined all of the above, we ask this honourable court not to impose any lengthy custodial sentence on him,” the attorney added.
In his final arguments, Jones appealed to the court to “not allow or accept the Prosecution’s very late evidence … and to sentence the defendant as before [while] being as lenient as possible; bearing in mind that he (Frett) has pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time”.
Voice notes, messages
However, after listening to the Crown’s objection to Jone’s arguments, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards said the ‘new evidence’ must be put to the court.
The new evidence comes in the form of suggestively incriminating voice notes and text messages. But, Jones argued that those messages are circumstantial.
His client’s matter will now be proceeding, as planned, to a Newton hearing on May 13. Effectively, a Newton hearing is a legal procedure whereby a judge tries to ascertain which of the two sides offering conflicting evidence to the court is truthful.
Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.