Whistleblower evicted from her home

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  • Leyoni Junos was evicted from her Warwick home yesterday.

    Leyoni Junos was evicted from her Warwick home yesterday.
    (Photo by Akil Simmons)

Dismissed Government worker LeYoni Junos said she has been left with nowhere to go after a team of contractors armed with a bank possession order emptied her house.

Ms Junos arrived home at her the Middle Road, Warwick residence to find workmen loading the contents of the house onto trucks.

Four truckloads of her possessions, they said, had already been taken away to the Tynes Bay Incinerator.

“This is why civil servants like me should keep their traps shut, because this is what happens to you,” Ms Junos said.

Unable to pay her mortgage since she was fired from Government’s African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) programme in 2008, Ms Junos claims HSBC Bermuda has unlawfully seized her home, since she is still fighting the order granting possession.

Her application for leave to appeal for a judicial review was turned down by Chief Justice Richard Ground, but Ms Junos said she has the right to file another appeal in open court.

She was not at home yesterday morning when workmen forced the door and started emptying the house.

“I’ve lost my family pictures, sentimental items, a lot of personal papers,” a tearful Ms Junos told The Royal Gazette as the team piled the last truck.

Now homeless, she must sleep on a friend’s couch. As for her chickens and cats, Ms Junos said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”

Her stunned friend sitting nearby likened the eviction to a rape.

“The history that has led to this is highly disturbing,” she said. “This is someone who tried to do the right thing. Now look what’s happening.”

Ms Junos said she doesn’t consider herself a whistle-blower for speaking out over an irregularity in advertising for the ADHT, which was being represented as a US charity.

“That information was in the public domain,” she said. “I was just bringing it to the board’s attention.”

She was able to win a civil case for unfair dismissal after losing her job in 2008 as administrator of the ADHT but Ms Junos said she never recovered financially.

She has represented herself in her latest legal battles to keep her home.

“I can’t afford a lawyer,” she said.

Ms Junos acknowledged that many others have found themselves unable to pay their mortgages, but insisted that HSBC has not told her how much she owes the bank.

However, in response, the bank said it was awarded possession in July of last year.

An HSBC spokesman said: “Ms Junos’ application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council was struck out by Bermuda’s Court of Appeal on 14 November 2011.

“HSBC has acted, and will only act, in strict adherence with our legal rights as owner of the property.”

With the last of her possessions to be removed from the premises this morning, Ms Junos has vowed to take her appeal back to court.

The contractor in charge of the removal told her his task gave him no pleasure.

“It’s out of my hands,” he said.

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Published Dec 8, 2011 at 8:40 am (Updated Dec 8, 2011 at 8:37 am)

Whistleblower evicted from her home

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