Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Two years for scam that secured bail for a killer

Published:Friday | September 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/ Senior Gleaner Writer

The St Andrew man who used a fraudulently obtained land title to secure bail for a convicted killer who is still on the loose is to serve two years in prison for his crime.

James Alphonso Bailey, 49, has been sentenced to two years in prison at hard labour for each of the three fraud charges to which he pleaded guilty. However, the sentences are to be served simultaneously.

According to court records, the sentence was imposed by Parish Judge Chester Crooks in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 10 this year.

Bailey's incarceration came three months after the so-called 'bailer man' pleaded guilty to three counts of uttering forged documents, forgery, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Law-enforcement authorities stumbled upon Bailey's activities last September after Devon Harriott and two other men, Oshane Coley and Michael Jacobs, absconded bail a day after their murder trial began in the Home Circuit Court.

The three were convicted in absentia for pumping 12 bullets into the body of Craig Lewis in December 2009 and remain on the run.

Harriott was bailed by Bailey, who admitted in court that the convicted killer was not personally known to him.

According to police investigators, Bailey used an elaborate scheme to assume the identity of a legitimate land owner in St Thomas.

As part of the scheme, investigators said he obtained a driver's licence and utility bill in the landowner's name before using them to get a certified copy of his land title.

He was arrested at the Supreme Court building in downtown Kingston after he turn up to bail another accused person. A keen-eyed court employee recognised him as the person who had bailed Harriott.