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No bail for man branded a 'fish' by fellow inmates

BY KARYL WALKER Crime/court editor walkerk@jamaicaobserever.com

Friday, February 22, 2013    

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A man who pleaded for bail because he was being labelled as gay while in jail was yesterday remanded in custody when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

Miguel McMorris, who is facing two counts of obtaining money by false pretence after he allegedly conned a woman out of $70,000 and US$250, with the promise of securing a United States visa, begged Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey to let him out of jail as he was being beaten by his cellmates who branded him a 'fish'.

"They say I talk like a girl, Your Honour, and in today's society they call you a fish. They are banging me around. I can't manage it, Your Honour, I am begging you, please," McMorris told the magistrate.

But his pleas fell on deaf ears.

"That's unfortunate, sir," RM Pusey replied before remanding McMorris in custody.

The court was told that McMorris met with a female complainant and made arrangements to procure a US visa in return for the cash.

However, when no visa was forthcoming the police were notified and he was arrested and charged.

RM Pusey also had some harsh words for the complainant who said McMorris was still in possession of her passport.

"I am sorry for you, and I am not sorry for you. If his eyes were blue and him have white skin and wear Dockers pants I would understand. If you want a visa, you go right up to the embassy and join the line like everybody else," RM Pusey said sternly.

"He has been calling me from prison, Your Honour," the complainant said.

At that point McMorris intervened.

"We had a brief relationship. I did not collect any money from her. We both met and talked, but when the money was transacted I wasn't there," he told the court.

McMorris is expected to be brought back to court on April 11 for trial.

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