Prison officers remanded over forged sick slip charges; will be sentenced today

Two corrections officers will be sentenced today for pretending to be sick.

Mercette Pinder and Aryett Lightbourne transitioned from corrections officers to inmates when Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt remanded them to the correctional facility, pending sentencing Wednesday afternoon.

Police arrested the men after Commissioner of Corrections Charles Murphy questioned the validity of the sick certificates that they had presented excusing them from work.

Pinder missed work from November 24, 2018 through December 11, 2018 by presenting two sick certificates. The first certificate was dated November 24 through December 1, 2018 and the second from December 2 to December 11, 2018.

As a result, Pinder fraudulently received $1,516.14 in pay.

For his part, Lightbourne missed a total of six days from work in 2019, by presenting sick slips dated from May 8 through 10 and June 9 to June 11. Consequently, Lightbourne fraudulently obtained $360.96 in pay.

Investigations revealed that neither officer had been seen by a doctor at Princess Margaret Hospital, the court heard.

Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Caroline Garraway confirmed that whoever signed the slips was not a doctor at the hospital.

In their police interviews, both men claimed that they attended the hospital but confirmed that they were not seen by a doctor.

According to Pinder, a person identified only as Nurse Knowles gave him the bogus sick slips.

On the first occasion, he allegedly paid $15 and $25 the second time.

As for Lightbourne, he claimed that he went to hospital for a stomach flu on both occasions. However, Lightbourne said he never saw a doctor because of the protracted registration process.

Lightboune alleged that a Filipino nurse gave him the sick slips.

Ferguson-Pratt will hear pleas in mitigation from attorneys Joseph D’Arceuil and Bernard Ferguson today.

A representation from the Prison Staff Association asked the court to remand the officers to a police station. However, the chief magistrate said she didn’t have the authority to do so.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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