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Lawyer released from prison, ordered to repay client

ARTESIA DAVIS
Guardian Senior Reporter
artesia@nasguard.com

Published: Oct 15, 2012

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A magistrate on Thursday released attorney Sonia Serrette from prison on the condition she repays a client she stole $100,000 from.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell gave Serrette until November 22 to make restitution to retired teacher Fiordelisa Bain.  If she fails to repay the money, she could return to prison.

Bethell remanded Serrette to Her Majesty’s Prisons pending sentencing when she convicted her of stealing by reason of service on August 15.

Bethell initially rejected the idea of making a compensation order when Serrette appeared before her on September 26 for sentencing.

Her lawyer Geoffrey Farquharson claimed that the mother of two, whose husband is unemployed, had the means to repay the money by reason of several civil judgments in her favor.

The court adjourned the case to October 10 for an update on Serrette’s progress in making restitution.

Farquharson claimed that Serrette’s efforts to reimburse Bain had been hindered by her incarceration.

Bain, who attended Serrette’s church, agreed with the compensation order.

The Disciplinary Tribunal of the Bar Council suspended Serrette from practice for three years for professional misconduct in the Bain case.

She has appealed their decision and is scheduled to appear before the Court of Appeal on October 26.

The Bain case is not the only theft charge against Serrette.

Prosecutors on Wednesday fast-tracked another theft case against Serrette to the Supreme Court by a voluntary bill of indictment.

She will be arraigned before Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs on February 8, 2013.

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