Sex offender begs judge for assistance

A sex offender pleaded to be sent to the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute instead of jail after he appeared in court yesterday for breaches of supervision orders.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said there was not “sufficient attention or resources for an effective system for a secure mental unit elsewhere than prison”.

But she recommended that ?Junius Caines should be remanded to MWI until his next court appearance, but admitted there was no guarantee he would not be taken back to prison.

Mrs Justice Simmons added: “I’m doing the best I can to at least make the recommendation.”

Caines, 50, was released in June after being imprisoned last year for an attempted rape in 2016.

He went back to prison earlier this month after he was accused of failure to comply with a curfew and testing positive for cocaine and cannabis in breach of supervision orders.

Mrs Justice Simmons told Caines’s lawyer, Jonathan White, that the only the Governor had the power to create alternatives to jail for mentally ill offenders.

The court heard Caines had still to undergo psychological evaluation and that there were concerns over whether his mental state was suitable for supervision orders.

Mrs Justice Simmons said: “I want to make it clear that the court is not trying to imprison Mr Caines.

“What the court wants is a functional order and something where Mr Caines is clear on what his responsibilities are under that order.”

She added that Caines went into “a spiral where he is likely to commit an offence” when he took drugs.

Mr White said after Caines asked to be sent to MWI: “That’s been our recommendation on previous occasions.

“It comes back to the continuing and repetitive issue of Bermuda not having the capacity in that arena.”

Mrs Justice Simmons told Mr White it was not for the courts to decide.

She said: “The Governor of Bermuda can set up that system.”

She added: “People with mental health issues often break the law and create threats to security.

“His Excellency is the one who has the power to do something about this.”

Caines was remanded in custody until January 6.

Mr White said after the hearing: “It’s unclear at this juncture if the judge’s recommendation will be followed.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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