Anger and joy

Anger and joy

Mixed emotions as Jamaicans deported

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Relatives of two of the 17 Jamaicans deported from the United Kingdom (UK) yesterday were adamant that jealous, jilted ex-lovers had engineered the circumstances that landed them in jail and on the expulsion list.

But as the relatives fumed over the return of their loved ones, another deportee expressed joy at being back in the island, and said he felt no animosity towards the UK for sending him back to the country he left in 1992.

“If you break the law, you get deported. I am happy because I wanted to come home. I was in prison locked up,” said the man, who did not disclose what had been convicted for or how many years he had served in prison.

Hours before deportees arrived at the Jamaica Constabulary Specialised Operations headquarters on Merrion Road, Kingston, a family member of one of the men, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Jamaica Observer that his relative was being shipped home after a failed first attempt by UK officials to deport him in 2019.

The relative disclosed that his sibling, who went to the UK as a teenager, served three years in prison for raping his wife which, he said, was a false accusation.

“This person was charged under the circumstances of being set up by his partner and I am talking about someone who he married. It was alleged that he committed a crime of rape, you understand,” the man told the Observer.

“I can't see through it,” he said as he waited at the entrance.

The man, while noting that his brother, a barber by profession, had been punished for ending his relationship with his wife, said his brother was released from prison in 2019.

According to the man, his brother was the victim of jealousy as he had fathered two children ages six and seven months old with another woman.

The man, who was the first to arrive just after 11:00 am at the location where the deportees were processed and released minutes after 3:00 pm, said his brother was reporting to the authorities when he was detained.

He described his brother's deportation as unfortunate.

Yesterday morning, after the chartered flight with the deportees left London, the British Home Office said the 17 foreign criminals had a combined sentence of 75 years. “This includes a combined total of 15.5 years for rape, 16 years for violent offences, almost 29 years for drug-related offences, including Class A drugs, and 14 years for robbery with possession of firearms,” the Home Office said.

“We make no apology whatsoever for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals. We will be urgently pursuing the removal of those who were prevented from boarding the flight due to a legal challenge over a mobile network failure,” the Home Office said in reference to a court ruling that cut the number of deportees from 50.

Meanwhile, another family member who had travelled from St Thomas to receive his uncle, whom he had not seen in 20 years, said the man's ex-girlfriend was instrumental in his deportation.

Admitting that his 55-year-old uncle had spent time in prison after he had been convicted for a drug-related offence, he said his uncle did not have “a real lawyer”.

The man told the Observer that when the mother of his uncle's first baby was told by an attorney that the father of her two children did not receive a fair trial, she contacted him at the home he shared with his current babymother.

“…So them a call a fi him yard weh him live now with the other woman fi get some more information bout him, but she nuh waan send it on. So a it mek him a come today day. So that is why mi seh a woman business,” the nephew explained as he took shelter from the boiling afternoon sun between a concrete wall and an electricity pole.

He said his uncle's children were traumatised by his deportation.

“On weekend time him go over there and get them organised [because] she can't really manage. Them go school and them send them home back because them a cry and ting,” he said.

The sister of the deported man said despite the circumstances, his return was like a family reunion, as she had not seen her eldest brother in 20 years.

The woman told the Observer that one of her brothers, who resides in the United States, will be visiting the island shortly.

After the deportees arrived yesterday afternoon, some of their relatives who were apparently ashamed of their returned to the island expressed disappointment.

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