(CMR) Trisha Marissa Jackson (39) was sentenced on Monday to 15 months immediate imprisonment for theft, false accounting and obtaining property by deception after being found guilty of taking over $30,000 from the Facilities Management Department.
The former civil servant received a one-third discount by Magistrate Valdis Foldats on her sentence for pleading guilty back in May – saving the court time and expense of having a trial.
However, he stated that the sentence had to be “just and proportionate”.
Ms. Jackson had been employed as facilities administrator between 2011 and 2016. She pleaded guilty to stealing a total of $18,890 from the Cayman Islands Government over that period. The money had been paid to her in cash for rental of the South Sound Community Centre by a parent/toddler group that met on a weekly basis.
The defendant issued receipts each time, but they were false and the monies were never deposited with any government account. Fortunately, as Crown counsel Toyin Salako observed on an earlier occasion, the volunteer with the playgroup had saved all of the receipts and was able to produce them when the rental was questioned in 2017.
The obtaining of property by deception involved issuing false invoices for $11,924.68 worth of goods from Kirk Office Supply between May and October 2013.
Both sets of offending were breaches of trust, the magistrate emphasized.
Ms. Jackson was “the face of government” to the volunteer who had paid the community center rent.
“One can only imagine the betrayal the parents felt,”
the magistrate commented.
“Confidence in the civil service is undermined when civil servants abuse their position.”
For the theft of money, the sentence was 12 months; for the related false accounting, 12 months concurrent; for obtaining property by deception, three months consecutive (reduced from 10 months because of totality); for the related false accounting, 10 months concurrent.