Inferenta v R

CourtCourt of Appeal (Bahamas)
JudgeSmith, J.,J,J.
Judgment Date14 August 1972
Neutral CitationBS 1972 CA 1
Date14 August 1972
Docket NumberNo. 28 of 1972

Court of Appeal

Smith, J.

No. 28 of 1972


Criminal law - Appeal against conviction — Corruption

Smith, J.

Attorney General opens.


Section 397 Penal Code. S. s. (1) definition of agent. Corruptly not defined in the Penal Code. S. s. (2) being an agent corruptly accepts or agrees to accept. It means with the intent of entering into a corrupt bargain. R. v. Smith 1960 1 All E. R. 256.


Accused agreed to accept a bribe to show favour to James Archer-Shee on a charge against Dangerous Drugs Act. Charge still pending. He pleaded not guilty and adjourned for trial 19 th June. James Archer-Shee and father went into magistrate's chambers to sign a bail bond. James Archer-Shee left leaving father and magistrate in chambers.


A. G. outlines conversation between father and magistrate.


As a result of what happened father reported to police and police decided to put the matter to the test and he obtained 5 x $100 bills from bank and these were photostatted.


Explains what happened between father and A. C. Crawley.


Describes what happened at magistrate's court.


Describes what happened when Crawley went to Iferenta's (accused) house. Accused said no point in this and said he received a letter previous day with $400 in it at the court. They went to the court. Accused produced this money and other money. Crawley searched waste paper basket and found bits of blue envelope and pieces of paper put together and was envelope addressed to accused and compliments slip signed by Archer-Shee – the father.


Calls: P.W. 1

P.W. 1 Hanford William Darville s/s

resides Palmdale Nassau. Director of Public Personnel Bahamas Government since August 1971. Prior to that in the same department as deputy. We deal with staff in the public service and have individual records. I am familiar with record of Anthony Iferenta, he is a Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate appointed on 3 rd January, 1972 on contract terms for three years. I produce his letter of appointment as a magistrate and his contract of service — letter of appointment marked Exh K. Contract marked Exh L. These are photographed copies of the original.

Xxd Nottage

No questions.

P. W. 2 Philip Archer-Shee s/s

5 Bently Drive – Freeport. Assistant Port Director, Grand Bahama Port Authority. I am married. I have a son James Brice Archer-Shee age 17. On 5 th June 1972 10:00 a.m. I was at the court house at Freeport. My son was with me. He was on a charge of being in possession of marijuana seed. He was charged before the magistrate with that offence. He came before the magistrate Mr. Iferenta. Accused is Mr. Iferenta. The charge was read out to my son and he pleaded not guilty. The case was adjourned for two weeks. I asked the magistrate for bail for my son and he agreed to a bail bond of $800 and a surety of $800. The bail bond was signed that morning in the magistrate's chambers. It was the last. The magistrate then adjourned to chambers. I went into chambers with my son. Mr. Iferenta (accused) was in the chambers. Nobody there apart from me, my son and Iferenta. The bail bond was signed first by my son and then by me. After my son had signed he was then dismissed from the chambers. I stayed behind to sign the bail bond. My son signed, left the chambers and then I signed. The magistrate said to me I will not send your son to prison if we can make a deal. I did not at first understand what he was talking about. He then repeated the question in the same words and added “Do you get what I mean?” At that point his telephone rang and he answered it. It was while he was talking on the telephone I understood what he was getting at. I understood that he wanted to make some arrangement of a monetary fashion. When he put the telephone down, he again repeated to me, ‘“do you get what I mean?” I said “yes, how about 500?” At that time it was a reply that suddenly came to me and I didn't honestly understand. He then instructed me how to get the money to him. He told me to put it in an envelope with a covering note saying ‘With my compliments’ and to sign my name; to address it to him and hand it in at the court house. That was the end of the interview. I left the chambers then. That was not a bargain I was prepared to go through with. I decided to come here to Nassau and to see Mr. Courtney Strachan. I had met Mr. Strachan before this. I knew he was a senior police officer. I came to Nassau next day, 6 th June. I saw Mr. Strachan and I related the story to him as I have told today. I saw Mr. Strachan first by himself and then he called Mr. Thompson – Salathiel Thompson the Deputy Commissioner. They eventually called Mr. John Crawley. I stayed in Nassau overnight. I met the police officers again next morning and I went back to Freeport that afternoon, 7 th.


On Thursday, the 9 th, Monday was the 5 th. On Thursday evening I was visited at my house by Mr. John Crawley, by himself. I gave him a copy of the notes – there were five one hundred dollar notes. I got the notes from Barclays Bank in Freeport for the purpose of handing them in as instructed by Mr. Iferenta. The copies I gave Mr. Crawley were Xeroxed copies of the $100 notes. I had copied the notes on the Xerox machine in my office. (Shown cheque)


I recognize this cheque as my cheque drawn on Barclays Bank for cash for $500 and dated June 8 th. The bank notes I mentioned related to this cheque. Cheque produced and marked Exh I. (Shown document)


This is one of the Xeroxed copies of the five bank notes, marked Exh D – I produce this.


Mr. Crawley saw the photo copies and compared them with the original bank notes. (Shown bank notes) I recognize these four notes as part of the five $100 bills (marked Exh C.)


After making the comparison I then put the notes into an envelope with a covering letter. I put five notes in the envelope – no doubt as to that whatsoever. The covering letter said “With my compliments” and my signature as instructed by the magistrate. The envelope was addressed to ‘Magistrate Iferenta Court House Freeport’. I wrote that. The envelope was blue. The note paper was blue, the same as the envelope. (Shown pieces of paper). This is the same colour as I wrote on. There is no writing on it. Pieces of paper marked Exh E. (Shown more pieces of paper) This is the envelope I put the bank notes in. I recognize it by its colour and my handwriting. Put in as Exh A. (Shown more pieces of paper)


This is the covering note I put in the envelope. It is in my handwriting. It says “With my compliments” and my signature, I produce it. Marked Exh B.


I sealed the envelope Exh B and handed it to Mr. Crawley at my house and he kept it until the following morning. I next saw Mr. Crawley next morning Friday about a quarter to ten at the rear of Barclays Bank at Freeport. He gave me back envelope. I proceeded to the court house where I handed it in to the clerk at the wicket – a little glass sliding window – a male clerk. Mr. Hyatt identified – that was the clerk to whom I handed the envelope. I said something to Hyatt as I handed the envelope to him. On the Saturday morning I was shown a white envelope by the police (marked Exh F). I had not seen it before.


I attended the preliminary inquiry at Nassau. In the course of that evidence I wrote my signature on a piece of paper. Yellow paper with signature produced and marked Exh J.

Xxd Nottage

On 5 th June I went to court with my son James Bruce Archer-Shee. I was present in court when my son was charged. I was able to hear what was going on. I stood next to my son when he pleaded not guilty.

  • Q. Did you hear the magistrate ask the police prosecutor why you Philip Archer-Shee was not also charged in the case?

  • A. No I didn't.

  • Q. Did you hear the magistrate ask the police prosecutor who was the occupier of the house?

  • A. No.

  • Q. Did you hear him ask a question as to who was the owner of that house?

  • A. No.

  • Q. If any of those questions were asked by the magistrate of the police prosecutor would you have heard?

  • A. I would have heard, yes.

  • Q. Was it the same day you went to the magistrate's chambers to sign your son's bail bond?

  • A. Yes, it was.

  • Q. When you first entered who other than yourself was present?

  • A. The magistrate and my son.


He asked my son what he wanted to be. My son replied I want to be a lawyer. The magistrate replied: what sort of lawyer are you going to make when you break the law. My son made no reply. Then my son signed the bail bond and was then dismissed from the magistrate's chambers. That left myself and the magistrate in the room. Then the magistrate said to me “I won't send your son to prison if we can make a deal.” I didn't at first understand what he meant. So he repeated “I won't send your son to prison if we can make a deal” and then added “‘do you get what I mean?” I did not say anything between the first statement and the second statement of the magistrate. I thought he understood I did not understand what he was talking about.


Then his telephone rang. He had a conversation on the phone. It was a matter of a minute or two before he finished. I have no idea to whom the magistrate was talking on the phone. I wasn't paying attention to his phone call. He then turned to me after he'd put the phone down and again said to me “Did you get what I mean?” and I said “yes, how about 500?” The magistrate said “That would be satisfactory”.

  • Q. What were the magistrate's exact words?

  • A. He said “Put the money in an envelope with a covering note saying ‘with my compliments’ and sign your name; and give it to the clerk at the court house.

  • Q. What happened next?

  • A. I finished signing the bail bond and left his chambers.

  • Q. The very last thing that happened in the magistrate's chambers was the signing of the bail bond.

  • A. Yes

  • Q. When you came out of the magistrate's office did you go...

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