More charges have been brought against Allie Franklyn-Providence, the St. Vincent-born Canadian man accused of not paying an EC$15,000 hotel bill.
Allie Providence, was initially scheduled to be tried on Wednesday on a charge that between Sept. 29 and Nov. 4, 2017 at Villa, “with intent to make permanent default on part of an existing liability to make payment of EC$15,494.22, [he] dishonestly induced Crystal Andrews of Villa to wait for payment”.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned last week Monday, Nov. 13, at the Serious Offences Court and was denied bail.
The court, however, agreed to an expedited trial since the man lives overseas.
That trial was set for last Monday, but defence counsel, Grant Connell, asked for an adjournment because there had not been disclosure by the prosecution, as the court had ordered.
But on Wednesday, when Providence appeared in court, he was slapped with two additional charges and denied bail yet again.’
Providence was charged that on Aug. 21, 2017 at Villa, knowing that payment on the spot of US$320 for services done was required or expected, he dishonestly made off without making said payment.
He was also charged that on Aug. 21 at Villa, he stole two bath towels –US20, two hand towels — value US$10, and two wash cloths — value US$4, total value, US$34, the property of Carlita Samuel of Belair.
The accused man also pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Providence pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche objected to bail, telling the court that given the previous matter against Providence and reports from investigators of possible similar charges against the accused man he doesn’t think that bail should be granted.
“There seems to be an investigation going on as it relates to the defendants with matters of a similar nature.”
He said the charges read to Providence on Wednesday came out of a report that was made on Tuesday.
The prosecutor said that the investigators need some time to conclude their probe.
But defence counsel, Grant Connell, made an application for bail, telling the court that he understands that the matter that was listed for hearing that day was adjourned in his absence and that of his client.
Connell, however, told the court that Providence was in custody at the Prisons, and therefore has no control over when he is taken to court.
The lawyer said that when he visited his client at the prisons on Wednesday, he was told that Providence had been taken to the Criminal Investigations Department in Kingstown with a charge pending.
Connell told the court that he has his client’s passport.
“This man is a Vincentian, properly anchored in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I know not what attributes he may have that would deny the possibility of bail,” Connell said.
He said the man’s relatives, including Dr. Timothy Providence and McArthur Robertson, “families extraordinaire in Troumaca, somebody would sign $100,000 bail for this man for a total of less than EC$16,000 – the allegation made against him that borderlines a civil application”.
Connell said that if there are 100 matters pending against Providence and the police are doing their work, “the applicable shackles can be applied to him through bail conditions with his passport and travel document being surrendered”.
He said that while Providence has a Canadian passport, he was born in Kingstown.
“We cannot treat our black brothers like this. It is very unfair. If he had other attributes – if he was Caucasian, and a foreigner, a yachtie, he would have already been on bail.”
Connell rejected the argument that his client is a flight risk.
“Those who commit allegations of manslaughter, possession of firearms, much more — theft of $100-plus thousand dollars are given bail [and] who are not Vincentian.”
He said that his client could be asked to report to police every day.
“If this man is not granted bail, something is wrong. I would be losing faith in this legal system. It would be a travesty today.
“I am appealing to your human side, your honour. This man must be granted bail today,” Connell said.
“Must be granted?” the prosecutor interjected.
“Should be granted bail,” Connell said, adding, “in my opinion, he must be granted bail if justice is supposed to work as it is designed to work”.
He said one of Providence’s relatives had a deed for a property valued in excess of EC$500,000 and was willing to surrender it to the court as part of Providence’s bail bond.
Connell further told the court that things have since been put in place at Argyle International Airport to ensure that no other accused person leaves without the permission of the court.
He was apparently referring to case this year in which a man who was on a gun and ammunition possession charge left the country on a US passport, having surrendered his Vincentian passport to the court.
Despite the pleadings of his lawyer, Providence was denied bail and was remanded into custody until Dec. 11, 2017.