By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A WOMAN, contesting a human trafficking conviction that landed her in prison for 15 years, will have her substantive appeal heard in seven weeks time.
Chevanese “Sasha” Hall, found guilty in the Supreme Court a year ago on four counts of trafficking in persons and two counts of withholding identification papers, appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday for a status hearing.
Her lawyer Murrio Ducille informed Justices Anita Allen, Abdulai Conteh and Neville Adderley that he was “just in receipt of the transcripts.”
“What do you mean by just?” Justice Allen, Court of Appeal president, asked.
“A couple of days, early this week on Monday,” the lawyer said before asking the court for “a short adjournment”.
Justice Conteh asked the lawyer if he proposed to file amended grounds of appeal on behalf of his client.
Mr Ducille replied that he would “have to have sight of the transcripts to know where I’m going”.
Crown respondent and Director of Public Prosecutions Garvin Gaskin said he had no objection to the request for an adjournment given the nature of the case and circumstances.
The matter was adjourned to June 4 and Mr Ducille was instructed to file and serve his amended grounds five days before the substantive hearing.
Hall was arraigned in February 2013 in Magistrate’s Court on four counts of trafficking of a person, and two counts of unlawful withholding of papers, alleged to have been committed between January 10 and 28, 2013.
When formally arraigned in the Supreme Court, she pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
She was tried last March when she was found guilty of all charges and faced between 15 years to life imprisonment on the first four charges and 10 years imprisonment on the remaining offences.
Then Senior Justice Jon Isaacs at a sentencing hearing last June, told Hall: “You preyed upon the vulnerabilities of two young women.
“You promised them jobs, but provided only misery for them both.”
The court noted that Hall acted like a jailer to the victims and “notwithstanding there were no bars, they both felt confined by the circumstances they found themselves in.”
Senior Justice Isaacs also said that while she did not act alone, as the other culprit that facilitated the crimes, a pilot, is still at large, “the most egregious feature of this case is the deception”.
“No doubt your actions have succeeded in (ending) these victims’ ability to trust anyone in the future,” he added.
The judge, however, did not consider that life imprisonment was a fitting sentence in the 25-year-old’s case as he said “to impose such a sentence would in effect remove any hope of you changing your life.”