Disabled sex offender to learn if suitable home found

A mentally disabled sex offender will learn today if a suitable home has been found for him so he can comply with his probation order.

Khayriek Woolridge, 27, was sent to Westgate prison on Monday after he was kicked out of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute for alleged bad behaviour and could not find another place to stay — which put him in breach of probation.

But senior magistrate Juan Wolffe said yesterday that Woolridge, who was required to remain at the psychiatric hospital as part of his probation, would be homeless if was released from custody.

He added: “In the breach report it notes that ‘MWI stated that they felt that they have done all that they could with the resources they had’.

“If someone attended King Edward Memorial Hospital with a physical ailment, would KEMH turn that person away?

“The answer is probably no — so why is it that someone who presents with a mental health issue is being turned away? I don’t get it.”

Mr Wolffe was speaking as Woolridge appeared in Magistrates’ Court to try and find a solution to his lack of a place to live.

Woolridge, from Warwick, was sentenced to time served and two years of probation on July 17 after he admitted two counts of committing an indecent act in front of a girl aged under 14.

Part of his probation required him to stay at a group home at MWI psychiatric treatment.

But Woolridge was forced to leave the home last Friday after he was accused of an assault and destruction of property.

The court heard that the hospital would not allow Woolridge on the premises until an investigation was completed — which put him in breach of probation.

Kelly Madeiros, the co-ordinator of the Bermuda Mental Health Treatment Court, said that Woolridge did not have any family who could take him in.

She added that, although Woolridge could be housed at the Salvation Army Shelter, he could be bullied by other residents.

Ms Madeiros said: “At this point, I’ve explored every option that I know of and I cannot come up with anything else, so at this point if Mr Woolridge is released, he will be homeless.”

She added: “I have brought this case forward to my director and we feel like this is a country issue that needs to be addressed.”

Cindy Clarke, the Crown prosecutor, said she would not ask for further imprisonment if a place could be found to house Woolridge.

But she added: “I cannot in good conscience have a sex offender who has previous convictions with children be released without a home or any structured position in place.”

Mr Wolffe adjourned the case until today and remanded Woolridge in custody.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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