Bradley trial sums up
An Auckland jury has been told to disregard sympathy or prejudice when it comes to reaching a verdict against former financial adviser Jacqui Bradley.
Bradley has denied 75 theft and dishonesty charges relating to her and her husband Mike's company B'On Financial Services. Mike Bradley was jointly charged but died last year during Serious Fraud Office investigations.
The Crown claims the couple ran Ponzi-type schemes through B'On. The company collapsed in December 2009 owing 28 investors $15.5 million.
In the Auckland District Court today Judge Christopher Field summed up in the case, after five weeks of hearings. the jury has retired to consider its verdict.
The jury must put aside any sympathy they might have for the many investors who had lost money following the failure of the company, the judge said. They must also disregard any sympathy or prejudice they might feel towards Bradley.
The fact Bradley chose not to give evidence meant nothing at all, Judge Field said.
The starting point was a presumption of innocence and it was for the Crown to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, he said. It was not enough to find the accused "probably guilty" or "almost certainly guilty".
"The Crown's case is this was a team effort between Mr and Mrs Bradley to take investor funds and use them for a purpose not authorised by the investors," Judge Field said.
"They formulated this scheme to obtain funds from investors... to fund their own lifestyle and pay back other investors. Of course this is hotly disputed by the defence [which argues] there was no such scheme."