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Human Trafficking Suspect Granted Bail

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN accused of being an accomplice in human trafficking was granted bail in Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Lekiesha Dean-Foulkes, 37, of Sunset Meadows, reappeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt for a decision on her application for bail that was made at her initial court appearance three weeks ago.

She denied the charges of trafficking in persons and conspiracy to engage in trafficking in persons.

The chief magistrate yesterday determined that there were no substantive reasons provided by the prosecution to support suggestions that Dean-Foulkes would interfere with Crown witnesses in the matter.

She further noted that from the Crown’s own case it appeared that she played a lesser role in the commission of the offences with her co-accused whose bail approval was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Dean-Foulkes was granted $9,500 bail with two sureties and reporting conditions to the police station nearest her home every Monday and Wednesday on or before 6pm.

It is alleged that Dean-Foulkes, between a date unknown and April 27, at New Providence, being concerned with others, did conspire to engage in trafficking in persons.

It is also alleged that she, being concerned with others, did engage in the trafficking of a 26-year-old woman for the purpose of exploitation.

The same charges and particulars were laid against co-accused 39-year-old Clayton Phillips at an arraignment on May 4, where he was further charged with the rape of the 26-year-old woman that allegedly occurred on April 26.

Phillips had been denied bail at his arraignment but made an application to the Supreme Court for a bond.

Justice Gregory Hilton granted him a bond of $9,500 with two suretors and reporting conditions to the East Street South police station.

However, Crown prosecutors challenged the bail decision at a hearing a week ago, arguing that the judge had not given sufficient attention to the seriousness of the offences and the penalties Phillips faces if convicted of the crimes even though the accused is standing trial in the Magistrate’s Court and not the Supreme Court.

The appellate court, however, found that the judge had not made an error in exercising his discretion to grant bail.

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