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Fraudster to be deported

A man left behind bars for more than five months longer than his sentence as he waited to be deported could leave the island on Monday, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Angelo Toussay, 36, a French national, was sentenced to nine months in jail after he admitted four charges of theft and fraud.

He was scheduled for deportation on February 5, but was held because of immigration problems and the pandemic.

The Supreme Court heard Toussay lived in the Dutch-Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten, but was born on the French-Caribbean island of Martinique, has family in France and a French passport.

Lauren Sadler-Best, appearing for the Attorney-General's Chambers, told the court that Toussay was to be deported to France and had been given permission to pass through Britain on his way there.

Ms Sadler-Best explained that official confirmation had been received from France.

She said: “He has a French passport. I'm not sure that they have any ability to turn him back.”

Ms Sadler-Best added a ticket was available on Monday's British Airways flight.

Elizabeth Christopher, who appeared for Toussay, asked for her client to be released on bail before the flight and argued his continued imprisonment was unlawful. Ms Christopher explained it might be “convenient” for a prison to be treated as a detention centre, but it was not right that he was still being punished after he had served his time.

She said: “He wants to go back home. He doesn't want to stay in Bermuda.

“However, at this juncture the Government hasn't shown adequate good faith that they want to send him home.”

Ms Christopher added: “They haven't so much as bought the ticket.”

She added that he had only been told about the possible Monday flight yesterday morning after Toussay was earlier warned he would be stuck in Bermuda until at least September.

Ms Christopher told the court that her client had some money to live on if released on bail and could get more from his family if needed.

Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe refused the bail application and declined to rule on the claim that Toussay's detention in prison was unlawful.

But he also ordered the case to return to the courts next Wednesday if Toussay had not already been deported.

Toussay pleaded guilty in Magistrates' Court last year to stealing $2,350 from HSBC and an attempts to steal a further $8,590.

He also admitted possession of plastic cards with magnetic strips and a machine designed to make fake credit cards.

The court heard Toussay arrived in Bermuda from Philadelphia on July 20, 2019 and stayed at a hotel in St George's for three days.

The hotel manager noticed Toussay try to withdraw money from an HSBC ATM in the town.

Toussay checked out of the hotel on July 23 to catch a flight and asked the hotel manager to give his laptop bag and a speaker to an associate who would come to the hotel later that week.

The hotel manager was suspicious and inspected the speaker, which had an electronic card reader and several fake bank cards concealed inside, and alerted police.

Toussay returned to the hotel later that day after he missed his flight and made a reservation for several days.

He was arrested the next day.

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Published July 23, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated July 23, 2020 at 7:45 am)

Fraudster to be deported

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