Woman walks free after judge's error

June 01, 2016

The failure of a judge to sign an indictment order resulted in the woman, who allegedly pleaded guilty to a serious crime, walking free.

Sasha Smith, 30, a teacher of Old Harbour, St Catherine, is said to have admitted in court to collecting $168,000 from a female complainant in exchange for a United States of America visa.

Smith failed to produce the visa and the complainant reported the matter to the police, which resulted in her being charged.

However, despite allegedly pleading guilty on a previous court appearance to obtaining money by means of false pretence, Smith walked free, on a technicality, from the St Catherine Parish Court on Monday.

When the matter of sentencing came up, Smith's attorney-at-law, Shane Dalling, said there were technicalities that should benefit his client.

Dalling told the court that his client should benefit from the revelation of the clerk of court that the Parish Judge Horace Mitchell had failed to sign the indictment order.

Parish Judge Mitchell concurred with Dalling and subsequently ordered that Smith be freed of all charges.

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