By Latrishka Thomas
A woman who had gotten away on a suspended sentence for committing fraud amounting to over $30,000 some three years ago, now has to pay the entire sum in lieu, as her sentence was overturned in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
After pleading guilty to obtaining goods valued at $37,603 under false pretenses in 2017, Rochell Jarvis was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, by Justice Iain Morley.
But on Tuesday, an Appellate Judge granted a notice of appeal filed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which stated that the sentence passed down by Justice Morley in 2017 was not permissible under the Larceny Act and was too lenient.
The DPP noted that the offence carried a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
Under the Larceny Act, a fine may be imposed or the court may order that the offender enter into his own recognisance with or without sureties for keeping the peace and being in good behaviour.
In addition, it was said that Morley “had no authority in law to impose a suspended sentence as such sentence is a creature of statute and does not reside in any inherently discretionary power of the judge.”
Jarvis’ crimes occurred while she was running a travel agency. She ran that agency through the complainant’s travel agency. People paid her for tickets, which she got through the complainant.
However, Jarvis in paying the complainant, wrote bounced cheques, valued at more than $37,000.
The matter was investigated and she was charged and convicted for the offence, for which she had similar prior convictions.
The Appeal Judge, upon agreeing with the DPP, ordered Jarvis to pay $3,000 by the end of September and $1,000 at the end of every month thereafter until the sum is paid off in full.