J'can involved in 1996 murder of Canadian schoolgirl deported from Bermuda

Friday, October 13, 2017

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — A Jamaican man, who was convicted for his role in the brutal murder and rape of a visiting 17-year-old Canadian schoolgirl 21 years ago, has been deported back to his Caribbean homeland by private jet after spending more than two decades in prison, officials have said.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said “the deportee was transported via private jet due to associated security risks for transit via the UK, US or Canada.”

Kirk Mundy, who lived in Bermuda for many years and has a family here, was freed on bail for armed robbery when Rebecca Middleton, of Belleville, Ontario, was raped and stabbed to death after a night out with a friend, Jasmine Meen, in St George's while on holiday in the island in 1996.

When a taxi failed to come to take them home, the girls were given a lift by three men on motorcycles. Jasmine got home safely but Rebecca died on a lonely road at Ferry Reach near the town.

Mundy and a young Bermudian man, Justis Smith, were later arrested.

Mundy, 21 at the time, was allowed to plead guilty to being an accessory to murder after agreeing to testify against Smith and was jailed for five years.

Smith, who was 16 at the time of the slaying, was charged with murder but Justice Vincent Meerabux threw out the case, saying Smith had no case to answer.

The decision was appealed to the Privy Council in London, Bermuda's highest court, which said it found Meerabux's acquittal “astonishing” but ruled that the trial judge's ruling must stand.

The handling of the case, particularly the failure to reopen proceedings against the two suspects, caused outrage in Bermuda and overseas.

Human rights lawyer Cherie Booth, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, called the case “a terrible, terrible story — one that no family should have to endure”.

Mundy was sentenced in 1997 to 16 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Bank of Butterfield security van two years earlier. His sentence was increased by 18 months in 2009, when marijuana was found in his prison cell.

Carol Shuman, who founded the Rebecca Middleton Foundation to fight for a retrial for Mundy and co-accused Smith, said “Bermuda does well to see the last of Kirk Mundy.”

Shuman, who wrote extensively on the case, added “however, his exit neither removes the island's shame regarding its judicial handling of the murder of Rebecca Middleton. Nor, of course, does it bring Becky back or erase the international shock that for many is not forgotten.”

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