Thu | Jan 27, 2022

St Andrew businessman freed of fraud charges

Published:Monday | November 29, 2021 | 4:57 PM
Parish judge Sanchia Burrell upheld a no-case submission made by attorneys-at-law Hugh Wildman and Indira Patmore.

St Andrew businessman Christopher Kerr, whose case dragged on for seven years before the court, was today freed of charges of forgery and uttering forged documents.

Parish judge Sanchia Burrell upheld a no-case submission made by attorneys-at-law Hugh Wildman and Indira Patmore.

After the Crown closed its case in October, the defence attorneys argued for two days in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court that the prosecution failed miserably to prove the ingredients of the offences and cited authorities to support the submissions.

The judge reserved her decision and handed down her ruling today.

Kerr was charged in 2014 by police personnel at the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA.)

The allegations were that Kerr used different names to obtain several government identifications, which included a passport for himself. 

Witnesses from several government agencies testified for the Crown.

Following the ruling, Kerr said he was relieved that the case was over, although it took such a long time.

"I still have confidence in the justice system," he said.

Kerr spoke of severe hardships he endured during the period.

Kerr, who operated a construction company, said he lost a lot of business because of the case.

He accused the police of mounting a witch hunt against him, which he said resulted in financial institutions and customers refusing to do business with him.

"I lost a lot of business because of this case which had a crippling effect on my business," he added.

Kerr is now in the process of filing a lawsuit to get compensation from the State for his financial losses. 

He thanked Wildman for the sterling presentation he made in the case. 

He said he was disappointed that attorney-at-law Paul Beswick, one of the lawyers who had represented him, was not alive to see the outcome of the case. 

- Barbara Gayle

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