Mr. Paolini was found guilty by another jury last summer of stealing $51,600 from another client on or about Feb. 25, 2013.
(CMR) Former realtor and owner of Cayman Real Estate Company, Antonio Paolini, has plead guilty to theft causing his Grand Court trial to end prematurely on Friday.
Mr. Paolini, a former real estate broker, admitted to stealing $43,000 from a client between Aug. 19 and Nov. 20, 2014. The jury had heard evidence over three days last week on the matter. Crown counsel Toyin Salako and defense attorney Alex Davies were scheduled to make their closing speeches on Friday morning. Instead, Mr. Davies asked that his client be pleaded again.That is when Mr. Paolini, now 77, entered his new plea.
Justice Philip St. John-Stevens commented that jurors might be wondering why the defendant had pleaded guilty at this stage – why not weeks ago, or at the beginning of the trial?
He said Mr. Paolini had had time to reflect overnight and decided to change his plea. By so doing, he had not put jurors through the anguish of deciding a verdict and the court would give him credit for that, the judge explained.
The judge observed that although this was a rare occurrence in his 30 year criminal court history he had seen it happen. He will have to now return for sentencing and the judge set April 5 for the matter to return to court, and extended Mr. Paolini’s bail.
Mr. Paolini was found guilty by another jury last summer of stealing $51,600 from another client on or about Feb. 25, 2013. In that case, he had pleaded not guilty but admitted using the client’s money without her permission to pay expenses for his business. The client never got her money back and she never acquired the land she had wanted to purchase.
After that jury’s verdict, sentencing was postponed because a social inquiry report was requested, with Mr. Paolini bailed for another date. This second theft charge was in the interim being dealt with.
Justice St. John-Stevens did not preside at the first trial, but it was expected that he will be passing sentence for both thefts.