While the decision was not a unanimous one, former police constable Toni Sweeting has once again been denied bail a month after she was arraigned on drug possession charges.
Court of Appeal President, Anita Allen told the 27-year-old mother of one that she would not be getting bail for several reasons.
Her reasons, supported by Appeal Justice Neville Adderley, included that the offences were serious and that there was strong evidence against her as opposed to her co-accused – her brother Delano Sweeting and Jamaican Conrad Campbell.
Justice Allen also said there was no unreasonable delay in the matter and that Sweeting’s trial would be within six months of her being charged.
On April 22, the former officer and her brother faced the following charge in connection with a cocaine raid at Lynden Pindling International Airport: taking preparatory steps to export dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to export dangerous drugs and conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
It is alleged they committed these crimes on April 19 along with 33-year-old Campbell of Coral Heights Estates, who was arraigned a week later.
The Sweetings denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.
Delano was, however, granted $21,000 bail.
They were found in possession of 3.275 pounds of cocaine at the LPIA Departure Lounge.
Sweeting was on duty at the time.
The drugs are worth an estimated $64,000.
Justice Allen said there was evidence that if Sweeting were granted bail she might fail to surrender.
Supreme Court Senior Justice Jon Isaacs’ decision also provided proof of that, according to the president.
Justice Abdulleh Conteh disagreed with the president and Justice Adderley.
He believes that every bail application must be determined on its own facts and that Justice Isaacs failed to state his reasons of fear that Sweeting would indeed abscond.
Justice Conteh added that the decision was “wholly unsatisfactory.”
He noted that if granted bail, he would impose the following conditions on Sweeting: that all her travel documents be surrendered to police, bail be set at $100,000 with two sureties and that she report to the Nassau Street Police Station every Monday and Friday at 10:00 a.m. until the beginning of her trial.
Following the hearing, Sweeting’s attorney, Jomo Campbell told reporters that the next step would be to plan a strategy for his client’s trial.
The trial is set for October 11.