Jamaican wins right to challenge Bermuda deportation orderSaturday, May 01, 2021
HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — A 40-year-old Jamaican convicted of a serious sex assault 10 years ago while living in Bermuda has been granted permission by a judge to apply for a judicial review of a deportation order against him.
Brittonie Taylor, who served eight years for the offence, appeared in Supreme Court on Friday to fight an order to send him back to his homeland.
Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden pointed to the need for fairness as he granted Taylor leave to apply for a judicial review.
Reporters were denied permission to attend the hearing, but defence lawyer Victoria Greening said later it was agreed the case would be dealt with on an expedited basis and that the hearing could be heard next month.
Taylor's civil suit asked for unspecified damages for what he claimed was “unlawful and unfair” detention since March 28.
Taylor has lived on the island, where he has four Bermudian children, since 2000. He said in an affidavit that he had a 23-year-old stepdaughter, 17-year-old twins and a 10-year-old son with his Bermudian wife.
“I have a close relationship with my children, particularly with my 17-year-old son. Since my release in October 2020, I have spent regular and quality time with him, fishing and making up for the time lost when I was incarcerated.
“My son was — and still is — extremely distressed when he learned that I had been taken back to prison and that the authorities are considering my deportation.,” said Taylor, who was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a sex attack on a woman at a bus stop in Smith's parish a year earlier.
He admitted that he carried his victim to an isolated area and forced her to perform a sex act on him.
Taylor also attempted to rape the woman, but she was able to alert a passer-by to the attack. The sentence was later reduced to 14 years by the Court of Appeal.
Taylor also admitted to twice accosting a woman jogger in a neighbouring parish 35 minutes before the bus stop attack and was sentenced to another year in jail for intruding on her privacy.
During his trial his then defence lawyer Marc Daniels said Taylor could remember nothing of the bus stop attack. He suggested the defendant, who had been treated for bipolar disorder, may have been in the grip of a mental health crisis exacerbated by drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and failing to take his medication.
Taylor was released from prison last October and was due to be flown back to Jamaica on March 29.
But Magistrates' Court heard last month that he was arrested the day before for an alleged failure to attend a pre-flight COVID-19 test and breach of an order to quarantine.
The court was told he made threatening comments while he was being taken to prison after his arrest and said he would “take the whole plane down” if he was deported.
An immigration official said the airline he was scheduled to fly with would have to be alerted and it was unlikely they would agree to let Taylor on board.
Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe ruled that Taylor should be detained in prison.
Greening filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Taylor last month and claimed his arrest and detention were unlawful.
Justice Mussenden ruled last week that Taylor's detention was lawful.
But he added that a deportation by private jet — scheduled to take off last Friday — should not go ahead until the legal action was settled.
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