|Ian Christmas (not an Advocate)|
Magistrate-designate Ian Christmas is one of four defendants accused of fraud worth almost £1.5m. When the Royal Court trial begins, it will be almost four years since Mr Christmas’ office in the Magistrate’s Court was searched by police investigating fraud.
At the time, he was on the brink of being named Magistrate, and succeeding Ian Le Marquand, who is now a Senator and Home Affairs Minister. Although Mr Christmas has been working since his arrest, he has been on restricted duties and has not been sitting in court. It is understood, however, that he has still been drawing his full £110,000 to £115,000 salary.
Mr Christmas and his co-accused – John Lewis, Russell Foot and James Cameron – face between them a total of 27 counts with a combined alleged fraud of almost £1.5m.As is usual with these cases the prosecution has tried to paint a picture of a man who wanted to live a 'life of luxury', somewhat lessened by the realisation that his life of 'luxury' was to be funded by a mere £1.5 million. It seems likely to me (albeit not having heard any of the case) that much of this was to arise from his own personal investment in the scheme of £60,000 as well as his commission on finding other investors.
Just putting your money in a bank is a 'risk', if the bank goes then you will lose your money, no reasonable person can possibly believe that there is any investment which is 100% safe, other than physical gold you hold in your hands of course, and even then you may see a short term loss in terms of paper money.
Just because the Magistrate-designate considered it a good investment, does not mean that it was and indeed it proved not to be, but to make it a fraud requires that he deliberately misled the investors, somewhat more difficult to prove.
On the other hand a perpetual fraud is being committed by the Social Security department, they are taking 'investments' with menaces (the threat of imprisonment and/or 'fines') and making promises that they know they cannot fulfil, this fraud is allowed to continue because, well, I don't know why.
Ultimately Ian Christmas is not an Advocate and so is not truly one of the ordained and just as Tomes was not allowed to be Bailiff maybe it was felt that the role of Magistrate required an Advocate.
We have recently even seen an Advocate jailed... what is the world coming to? The drive to somehow show that the Jersey Finance Industry is 'well-regulated' by securing a few high profile convictions it would seem is now set higher than the demands of Natural Justice.