Fashion tycoon fails to appear in court
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Following his failure to appear in court for a third time, a bench warrant was issued on Monday by Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson for the immediate arrest of 78-year-old Lyford Cay billionaire Peter Nygard.
Yesterday’s court date was set for Nygard to receive one last opportunity to give an explanation for his absence on two separate incidents prior to yesterday’s proceedings.
Nygard was expected to be sentenced yesterday for violating an order from the court, forbidding him from engaging in dredging activities of a nearby seabed on the outskirts of his Lyford Cay estate.
However, Nygard was a no show in the Supreme Court.
Nygard’s lawyer, Carlton Martin, presented an affidavit, dated January 25, 2019, from Dr. Linwood Brown, expressing that Nygard could not travel to be present in court on Monday as he had been travelling extensively up to last Friday when he made a flight to Winnipeg from New York.
According to Nygard’s lawyer, he is now experiencing symptoms such as dizziness that can be fatal to his health.
The court was also told that Dr. Brown had not physically seen or examined Peter Nygard, which led Justice Grant-Thompson to refer to the affidavit as “triple hearsay.”
Save the Bays lawyer, Fred Smith, QC, also criticized Nygard’s defense team, stating that there lies an uncertainty as to who are his lawyers.
Carlton Martin was present Monday on behalf of Nygard, however, Smith presented documents which conveyed that Martin recused himself from the case.
Martin expressed that Keod Smith, who is also a part of Nygard’s legal team, was no longer on the case. However, the affidavit that was presented in court on Monday was submitted by Smith on behalf of Nygard.
Despite Martin’s written recusal, he states that after a conversation with Keod Smith, Martin now represents Nygard.
However, Justice Grant-Thompson said the appropriate document was never filed for Keod Smith to recuse himself as he is on record in the court as one of Nygard’s lawyers.
She ordered Smith to appear in the Supreme Court on February 7 to explain his absence in court on Monday.
In 2018, retired Justice Rhonda Bain convicted and fined Nygard $50,000 for violating her injunction, which was ordered on July 13, 2013.
The order made it illegal for Nygard to conduct dredging in the harbour of his posh property in western New Providence.
The fashion mogul was also ordered to withdraw the gouged sand and return it to Jaws Beach. However, it is purported that Nygard breached this injunction between March and April of 2015 and again in October of 2016.
Nygard paid the $50,000 for his violation, however, he has since appealed the ruling.
In court order that was filed on June 29, 2018, and filed on July 23 of the same year, former Justice Bain ordered the Lyford Cay resident to appear before Justice Indra Charles on September 7, 2018, in order to finalize his mitigation and sentencing proceedings.
Nygard was not present in court until September 28, 2018, for the mitigation and sentencing hearing, however, the proceedings were once again delayed.
Another court order was issued on October 9, 2018, by Justice Charles requiring Nygard to appear in court on January 17, 2019, to hear the recusal application in order to bring to a close the mitigation and sentencing proceedings.
Nygard failed to appear in court on January 17, therefore, Justice Charles consequently adjourned the hearings and transferred the responsibility of the case to Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson, who ordered Nygard to appear in court yesterday [Monday, January 28, 2019].
This story was written by Matthew Moxey – Eyewitness News Online Intern