A policewoman stationed at the Supreme Court was yesterday charged with fleecing a woman of $480,000 by forging the acting Chief Justice’s signature.
Fifty-eight year old Ann Small, of 228 South Sophia, an officer with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for 13 years, was not required to plead to two indictable charges when they were read to her by Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
According to the first charge, Small, between November 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013 at Georgetown, obtained from Chandrawatie Sahadeo $480,000 by presenting the woman with a document, allegedly signed by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang.
The second charge accused her of forging a document on April 7, 2013, allegedly signed by Justice Chang, with intent to defraud.
According to Prosecutor Deniro Jones, Sahadeo had a matter before the High Court and the defendant, a special constable, had approached her and told her that the matter could be dismissed.
However, $500,000 would have had to be handed over to Small for the case’s dismissal.
After being informed by Sahadeo that only $480,000 could be produced, an agreement was struck between the women. At a later date, Jones said, Small gave a receipt, purportedly bearing the signature of Justice Chang, to Sahadeo.
Representing Small, attorney-at-law Paul Fung-a-Fat requested reasonable bail and stated that the woman was not a flight risk.
However, Prosecutor Deniro Jones objected to bail on the grounds of the nature and gravity of the charge.
He added that the forging of the Chief Justice’s signature was a serious offence and that the defendant might not return for trial if granted bail.
In rebuttal, Fung-a-Fat noted that if Small was not granted bail, the next step would be to seek it from the high court before Justice Chang.
Though the justice was a fair man, he said, his presiding over the matter would be a conflict of interest.
Fung-a-Fat also offered to have his client lodge her passport and report regularly to the police. However, Small explained to the court that she had never been in possession of a passport, which Fung-a-Fat said was a sign of her commitment to the police force.
Fung-a-Fat also disclosed that the defendant had three children to take care of.
Small was granted bail in the sum of $150,000 on each of her charges. She was also instructed to report every Friday to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Eve Leary. Small is set to appear before the Chief Magistrate on April 3 to have her matter heard again.