Thu | Sep 21, 2017

UPDATE: Bail denied for woman arrested after abandoning fraud trial last year

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2017 | 1:45 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The Jamaican woman who left the island and returned to her home in the United States midway her fraud trial last November will have to spend the next two nights in a Kingston jail.

Winsome McFarlane wept this afternoon after Parish Judge Simone Wolfe Reece refused to grant her bail in the Kingston Parish Court.

She was this morning arrested on a warrant that Wolfe Reece had ordered for her last November.

Prosecuting attorney Linda Wright said McFarlane will be brought back to court on Friday when Wolfe Reece will again consider whether she should be granted bail.

McFarlane and another woman went on trial in 2013 for allegedly defrauding the National Health Fund approximately $600,000.

She is facing charges of forgery, uttering forged documents, obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

The other woman has been freed.

The much-delayed trial took a bizarre turn last November when McFarlane failed to return to the prisoner's dock after a short recess.

Checks by the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency revealed that she had left the island on a flight bound for Florida in the United States.

This morning, McFarlane turned up at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court and sat in the benches despite the fact that the police had an arrest warrant for her.

The dread locked woman was later taken from the courtroom to a holding area where the warrant was executed.

She was handcuffed and later brought back to the courtroom.

Wolfe Reece has slammed the police and others within the judicial process over the handling the arrest warrant.

"People are not following instructions with regard to a warrant being issued," she said.

"I'm in sheer shock — not only with the security forces — at how this was being dealt with," she said in reference the arrest warrant she ordered for McFarlane last November.

"It seemed like all the ducks were properly lined up this morning," she added.