Woman cleared in Money Express $100k theft

| 17/10/2012

_DEW2739-550w-2_1.jpg(CNS): A woman charged with theft, conspiracy and stealing around US$100,000 from Money Express in George Town was acquitted Tuesday, after a judge threw out the case against her during a Grand Court trial because the evidence was so poor. The crown also dropped one of the charges against Martha Levy, who was accused of being involved in what had been originally believed to be an armed robbery but turned out to be an inside job at the business in January 2011. The evidence against Levy was based solely on that given by crown witnesses one of which was a co-accused who had admitted his part in the crime.

However, the judge found the evidence was so weak and discredited it could not have persuaded him to convict Levy, and he released her from the court.

The crime was originally reported to police by Sanjay Andre Burrell, who was the employee at the store. He told police that the store in Elizabethan Square had been held up in an armed robbery on 15 January 2011 but shortly afterwards he and Joseph Lloyd Suberan were charged with theft by the police. The men then admitted cooking up the pretend robbery and stealing CI$62,667 and US$24,252 from the business, as well as possession of an imitation firearm used to bolster the pretence of an armed robbery. O’Brian Emmanuel Wright also later admitted to being an accessory as he had hidden the stolen cash and gun used in the crime.

Levy was arrested soon after the event when one of the men charged with the crime and others had made allegations against her and implicated her in the conspiracy as well.

Her trial started in June but was adjourned to give her defence attorney a chance to rebut, through telephone records, claims made by another crown witness, Jamie Morales, who said Levy was involved in the robbery and had claimed she was harassing him. These records were located and examined by a police expert and then used to clear Levy of the crime.

In his ruling the judge pointed to the evidence which had been presented to the court rebutting Morales' claims and bolstering Levy’s defence, and said that it was Morales that was harassing her.

With no other evidence that Levy had anything to do with the crime other than the say-so of the co-accused, Burrell, who said she came to the shop that day but was inconsistent with his evidence, Justice Charles Quin accepted the no case submission made by Clyde Allen, Levy’s defence attorney, on her behalf and dismissed the charges against her.

Stating that it was his duty to stop the case, the judge said, “I find the evidence adduced by the crown in this case has been so discredited in the case of Morales and is so intrinsically weak and inconsistent in relation to the co-accused Burrell that there is no possibility of my being convinced to the required standard by the evidence before me that the defendant is guilty,” he said, as he recorded not guilty verdicts on the remaining two charges against Levy.

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