[Updated] The sentencing of Kyril Burrows and his wife Delcina Bean-Burrows started at 9:50am this morning [July 25] in Supreme Court before Justice Charles-Etta Simmons.
Following a lengthy trial that ended in May 2012, the pair was convicted of stealing over $500,000 from the Government. Mr Burrows — an architect — used his Government position within the Ministry of Works and Engineering to steal money for his own purposes, using a large portion to build their St George’s home.
Mr Burrows, 48, faces sentencing on over 30 charges for which he had been found guilty, while his wife, Delcina Bean-Burrows, 49, also faces sentencing on numerous charges.
At today’s sentencing hearing, Susan Mulligan represented the Director of Public Prosecution and Saul Froomkin QC appeared on behalf of the couple. The Crown’s recommendation was for total sentences of ten years for Mr Burrows and six years for Mrs Bean-Burrows.
The pair had agreed a pre-sentencing order to surrender their assets valued at just over $500,000, and Justice Charles-Etta Simmons indicated that she would make a confiscation order to that effect.
Before the Crown made its sentencing submission, Mr Froomkin called five character witnesses to testify on behalf of the couple: Lt.Col David Burch, Rev Arnold Hollis, Mr O’Brien Roberts, Ms Patricia Fields, and Dr Barbara Holder.
Lt Col Burch — an ex-Government Minister — said he had known Kyril Burrow since the early 1980s and always found him to be of good character. He said that after the conviction he was in a “state of shock and disbelief”. When asked by the prosecutor if he respected the jury’s verdict he said he “believed in the rule of law.”
The Crown completed its submission at 12:30pm and the Court then adjourned for lunch. It is expected the sentencing hearing will resume this afternoon.
Update 4.48pm: The sentencing hearing is still ongoing, with Mr Froomkin arguing for a sentence lighter than the Crown’s recommendation of ten and six years.
Mr Froomkin suggested that the 34 separate counts could have been reduced to six or seven counts because for many counts, it was the same period of time, the same victim, the same offence, and often the same amount.
He said that instead of just 6 or 7 charges there are 34. He said it seems wrong to punish people for 34 offences when only 6 or 7 really occurred.
Mr Froomkin said that his clients maintained their innocence and that they should not be penalized because they do not appear remorseful. He said that they accept that they must be punished, even though they maintain their innocence.
The QC said that the Social Inquiry Report had indicated that they were unlikely to re-offend, and he argued that there was no rehabilitation in prison and that both defendants were highly qualified Bermudians who had skills to offer to the community. He suggested that it did not make sense to incarcerate someone at $80,000 a year when they could be directed to give back to the community.
Mr Froomkin closed by pointing out that the punishment should fit the crime and that the Burrows have already lost everything including their reputations.
Given the opportunity to speak Kyril Burrows said he had nothing to say, however his wife Delcina Bean-Burrows did address the Court. Ms Bean-Burrows said she recognized that she was been found guilty of an offence, and said that apart from personal pain and heartache she was very sorry for the bad light that she brought on Civil Servants.
Update 6.04pm: Mr Burrows received 8 years, and Bean-Burrows received 6 years, with both defendants showing no emotion when they were sentenced. They must repay the money [$526,000] within two years, or must serve another two years in prison.
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