Twenty-seven-year-old local Kendald Luis Fanord of Georges Hollow on Tortola was unanimously acquitted of two of his three charges when his trial concluded at the high court on Monday, October 19.
Fanord appeared before Justice Stanley John at the start of his three-day trial on Thursday, charged with theft, unlawful possession of proceeds of criminal conduct and uttering forged documents.
The court heard that on February 12, 2019, Fanord was asked by a relative – who was also previously jointly charged – to carry a cheque valuing $1,675 to Scotiabank. The cheque was cashed successfully and Fanord allegedly gave the sum to the relative who had asked him to take the cheque to the bank.
The court was further informed that the relative had stolen the cheque from a former employee and copied Fanord’s name on to it.
Relative admitted to fraud and theft
During the trial, The relative submitted evidence on behalf of Fanord, admitting that he stole the cheque and wrote Fanord’s name on the document. He further told the court that he did not inform the Fanord that the cheque was forged.
Fanord also gave evidence to which he maintained throughout the proceedings that he was unaware that the cheque had been forged.
To this end, his attorney Reynela Rawlins of PST Law argued that her client had no knowledge of the cheque being forged.
Theft offence withdrawn
Before the summing up of the closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defence, Justice John indicated that he was going to withdraw the theft charge.
He, therefore, directed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict on that offence.
Meanwhile, for the offences of unlawful possession of proceeds of criminal conduct and uttering forged documents, the nine-member jury took fewer than three hours before returning with a not-guilty verdict.
Fanord was therefore acquitted of all charges.
The relative had previously pleaded guilty in July 2020 to the aforementioned offences and was given a suspended sentence.
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