Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Attorney begs judge not to send Jephthah Ford to prison

Published:Thursday | November 2, 2017 | 11:50 AM
Dr Jephthah Ford ... convicted on two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The attorney representing prominent medical doctor Jephthah Ford this morning asked a judge not to impose a prison sentence on his client who has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Instead, Bert Samuels recommended that a fine be imposed.

Mr Samuels was speaking during Ford's sentencing hearing in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

In August, Ford was convicted on two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Prosecutor Joel Brown led evidence that Ford offered police investigators millions of dollars to free two Surinamese men who were held with US$533,000 or approximately J$55 million during a police operation along Half Way Tree Road, in St Andrew in July 2014.

The police investigator testified during the trial that he met with Ford at his St Andrew offices and secretly recorded the meeting.

He said it was during that meeting the well-known medical doctor offered him a percentage of the money confiscated to free the men.

Samuels acknowledged that it was a serious offence, but cautioned that it involved no violence and resulted in no monetary value to Ford.

He said Ford's action was out of a desire to assist, but conceded that this was a wrong intervention.

"He has allowed his good intention to cloud his better judgement," Samuels said.

Senior Parish Judge Simone Wolfe Reece, who is presiding over the trial, has asked for a ten minute break to consider the sentence.