Wednesday 10th October, 2018-Police have re-instated human trafficking charges against nightclub owner Cheryl Thompson.
This new development comes several weeks after Thompson’s case was dismissed by the Chief Magistrate, Joanne Walsh, as a result of prosecutors missing several key deadlines.
The charges that were re-instated are:
Five counts of human trafficking, five counts of debt bondage and five counts of using the services of trafficking persons.
The offences allegedly occurred between November 2017 and February 2018. There is no statute of limitations where the charges are concerned and they are all indictable.
Cheryl Thompson is expected before a magistrate on Thursday
When the business woman appeared in court in court for committal proceedings to begin in September, the prosecution team was not ready and requested a three week adjournment from Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh, since the file was not before the DPP. The magistrate instead gave the prosecution one week in which to get their act together, stating it was a lengthy period between the time the charges were laid and the date when committal proceedings were set to commence.
When the matter was called again in September, it was learnt that the prosecution team had only dispatched the file to the DPP’s office the day before.
Having gone through the case file, the police were given certain instructions, to which they sought to get more time from the court to carry out the DPP’s directives. But the chief magistrate said she had felt disrespected by the police for not taking her advice so that the matter could have proceeded. She subsequently dismissed the case and told the accused she was free to go.