J Arthur Brown in holding cell pending decision on prison

2014-12-03 11:07

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Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown is being held at Goodwood Police Station in Cape Town until his transfer to jail.

“He is being held in a cell at Goodwood since this morning and is being processed to determine which prison facility he will be sent to,” correctional services spokesperson Logan Maistry said.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Appeal sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment on each of the two fraud charges he pleaded guilty to. The sentences would run concurrently.

Western Cape High Court Judge Anton Veldhuizen initially sentenced Brown to a R150 000 fine (R75 000 for each fraud charge) or a suspended jail term.

Brown pleaded guilty to two fraud charges relating to his handling of investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company between 2002 and 2006. He had originally faced 192 charges.

The National Prosecuting Authority appealed the sentence.

Appeal court judge Mahomed Navsa and four other judges found that the state had cause for complaining about Veldhuizen’s attitude during the trial. He found that Veldhuizen was antagonistic to the state’s case from an early stage and repeatedly intervened to Brown’s benefit.

“A judicial officer faced with continuing evidence that trust money was being used in the manner described ... ought to have been concerned about the propriety of such action rather than repeatedly seeking to excuse it,” the judgment read.

“I agree with counsel for the state that the judge’s behaviour reflected in these passages is deserving of censure.”

The court found that Brown’s personal circumstances were not enough to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years for fraud.

It believed there was little remorse on Brown’s part and that during his testimony he showed a lack of insight into the gravity of his conduct.

Navsa believed a fine tended towards bringing the administration of justice into disrepute.

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