By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A WOMAN accused of being an accomplice to human trafficking will learn today whether she will be granted bail.
Lekiesha Dean-Foulkes, 37, of Sunset Meadows, stood before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt yesterday, facing a count each of trafficking in persons and conspiracy to engage in trafficking in persons, which she denied.
According to court dockets, it is alleged that she “between a date unknown and April 27, at New Providence, being concerned with others, did conspire to engage in trafficking in persons”.
It is then 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.
Concerning the question of bail for Dean-Foulkes, police prosecutor ASP Clifford Daxon objected to a bond being given to the female accused.
The prosecutor said that offences the accused was charged with were not only serious, but “there would be a likely interference with witnesses”.
“On what basis?” the chief magistrate asked, noting that the witnesses listed on the dockets were police officers and physicians.
The prosecutor replied that the submission was based on the information he’d received from a prosecutor at the Attorney General’s office.
Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said the information amounted to hearsay unless and until it was brought before the court directly.
When the prosecutor sought an adjournment concerning bail, Dean-Foulke’s lawyer, Murrio Ducille, objected to his request.
“She’s been in custody since Friday,” said Mr Ducille, noting that the mother and wife “is charged on summary matters.”
“Bail really is to secure the attendance of a person for trial. As for interference, all of these witnesses are police officers. Who’s she going to interfere with?” the lawyer asked.
Mr Ducille emphasised that his client, being a Bahamian citizen with no prior convictions, “is entitled to her freedom and I object to an adjournment.”
The chief magistrate said she would defer the question of bail by 24 hours until today for the Crown to be present for a full hearing.
Mr Ducille voiced his displeasure, however, and said his client’s detainment for another day “is totally reprehensible”.
“It is wrong for her to spend another night in custody. It is wrong and based on what… hearsay?” the lawyer argued.
The chief magistrate emphasised that she had made a ruling that the question of bail was deferred to noon today.
“It cannot be right that I adjudicate on a matter where I don’t have all of the facts,” she added.