Seaman moved to UK hospital
A violent child sex offender is now in a UK high-security hospital for detention and treatment, it was revealed yesterday.
Bermudian Merrick Seaman was transferred to the hospital in Northampton after a Supreme Court ruled he would “likely” cause harm to the community if no action was taken.
The 33-year-old had been held under the Mental Health Act at the Corrections Department’s Co-Educational Facility at Ferry Reach, St George’s, for three months after he was moved from the high-security Westgate Correctional Facility at Ireland Island North. Seaman was jailed for eight years in 2011 after he was convicted of a serious sex assault on a five-year-old girl.
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said: “I can confirm that on September 4, Mr Seaman was transferred to a suitable clinical location in the UK for the necessary treatment.
“He is no longer under the care or supervision of the Bermuda Department of Corrections.”
Then Chief Justice Richard Ground ruled the offender should serve his sentence at Westgate rather than be detained under a Mental Health Act order. Seaman was eligible for parole in April 2013 but it was recommended that his release should be delayed until the risk of him committing further offences was reduced. He was given another psychiatric review the following year after he said: “I intend to go on a killing spree when I get out of jail.”
Seaman was convicted of wounding another inmate in 2016, which earned him an extra nine months on his sentence.
His earliest possible release date was June 15 but the Government moved him to the CoEd two days earlier.
A Supreme Court judgment published in August showed the Ministry of Health and Bermuda Hospitals Board sought a hospital detention order to allow Seaman to be moved to a UK hospital. Emcee Chekwas, a British psychologist, carried out a risk assessment and recommended that Seaman get further treatment as there was a “high risk” of further offences.
The expert said: “The services likely to help him are currently unavailable in Bermuda and, even where intervention abroad could be secured, he will require long-term care.”
Katina Anagnostakis, a forensic psychiatrist at St Andrew’s Healthcare, in Northampton, England, said it was likely Seaman’s condition would deteriorate without further treatment.
She said the facility would admit him if the courts in Bermuda and the UK approved the move.
Puisne Judge Shade Subair ruled Seaman could be sent overseas for care and treatment.
She said in a written judgment: “The wider purpose is to protect the community from further harm, which Seaman would likely cause if not further detained and treated.”
The judge said he should be detained at St Andrew’s. Mrs Justice Subair added: “It would be irresponsible for this court to impose an artificial time limit on the period of Seaman’s hospital detainment overseas merely for the sake of defining his term of detention.
“However, this court will review and monitor his progress by receipt of progress reports from the applicants at six-month intervals. A court hearing review on Seaman’s mental health prognosis shall also be held one year from now.”
Island courts are also expected to get progress reports on Seaman every six months.