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Sunday 19 August 2018
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Attorney gets $75,000 bail on fraud charge

SAN FERNANDO attorney Wilston Campbell was yesterday granted $75,000 bail after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Port-of-Spain Eight Magistrates’ Court, on a single fraud charge.

Campbell, 76, of Fyzabad, is accused of fraudulently converting a certified cheque in the sum of $132,153 for his own use but which was to be used for the purchase of the parcel of land.

According to the charge, the alleged incident took place sometime between August 18, 2014, and April 5, 2017, in San Fernando. He was charged on Wednesday night after being arrested by Fraud Squad officers on Tuesday at his law chambers on Harris Promenade, San Fernando.

Campbell, who has over 40 years in private practice, also has a pending matter in the High Court for perverting the course of justice, arising out of an allegation that he paid a bribe to a police officer.

Although the official police criminal record trace was not available, police prosecutor Inspector Winston Dillon said the prosecution was not objecting to bail.

Campbell was represented by attorney Ian Brooks who had asked that his client be released on his own recognisance with conditions because of Campbell’s age, his profession and that the matter pending in the High Court was 12 years old and he made no attempt to abscond.

Instead, the Chief Magistrate granted bail in the sum of $75,000 to be approved by a Clerk of the Peace III. She advised that if Campbell did not secure bail by 4 pm yesterday, he will have to seek the approval of the Clerk of the Peace at the San Fernando Magistrates Court from today.

The matter was adjourned to April 12, where Campbell will appear before a San Fernando magistrate.

In 2005, Campbell, who was found guilty of professional misconduct in 1996, lost his appeal before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

He was ordered to repay $29,400 to a former client along with interest dating back to 1996, which was paid to him for two parcels of land in Sangre Grande. The land was never given to the client and the money was not returned.

At the Privy Council, the Law Lords expressed surprise that Campbell was not fined or reprimanded.

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