By Racquel Porter
Sanjay Elliott, the former deputy superintendent of roads convicted in the Manchester Municipal Corporation multimillion-dollar fraud saga, has lost his appeal.
Elliott was in 2020 sentenced to five years' imprisonment at hard labour for being the "ringmaster" in the multimillion-dollar fraud after being found guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by false pretence, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property, possession of criminal property, and an act of corruption by Senior Parish Court Judge Ann-Marie Grainger.
Judge Grainger prior to sentencing said there was clear evidence that Elliott fleeced more than $40 million from the municipal corporation and that the sentence should reflect the egregiousness of his actions and serve as a deterrent to possible offenders.
In the grounds of the appeal, Elliott's attorney Norman Godfrey argued, among other things, that the verdict is "unreasonable" and that the learned trial judge "erred in law" when she rejected the no-case submission for his client.
He also argued that the judge erred in law when she held that the interference with the witnesses by the police did not amount to prosecutorial misconduct.
But the appellate court found that the learned Judge of the Parish Court did not err in arriving at the verdicts in this case.
The documentary evidence in combination with the evidence of the witnesses painted a compelling case against Elliott.
The various counts of the indictment were proved to the requisite standard.
In the meantime, the Court of Appeal said Judge Grainger must be commended for her management of the trial with an indictment containing such a large number of counts and so efficiently summarising and analysing the mass of evidence that was presented during the trial.