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Sex offender given chance to fight deportation

Brittonie Taylor sexually assaulted a female guest worker after abducting her from a bus stop in broad daylight. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

A convicted sex offender has been given an opportunity to fight his deportation after a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Brittonie Taylor, who served eight years for a serious sex assault, was set to be sent back to his homeland of Jamaica.

But Victoria Greening, counsel for Taylor, argued that he had not been granted a fair hearing about his deportation.

Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden said that he would not quash the deportation order, but he would stay it so Taylor could make written submissions to the Minister of National Security about why he should not be deported.

Mr Justice Mussenden said: “I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the process was unfair because of the failure to make full disclosure of the information to be provided to the Minister in the circumstances of the draconian nature of deportation.

“However, I find that the lack of full disclosure can be remedied in this case by further disclosure and the opportunity for the applicant to make further submissions as desired which in effect answers the main thrust of his case.”

Taylor was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a sex attack on a woman at a bus stop on South Road in Smith's a year earlier.

He admitted that he carried his victim to an isolated area and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Taylor also attempted to rape the woman, but she was able to alert a passer-by to the attack.

The sentence was later reduced to 14 years by the Court of Appeal.

Taylor also admitted to twice accosting a woman jogger in Hamilton Parish 35 minutes before the bus stop attack and was sentenced to another year in jail for intruding on her privacy.

He was released from prison last October and was due to be flown back to Jamaica on March 29.

But earlier this year, Magistrates’ Court heard that he was arrested the day before for an alleged failure to attend a preflight Covid-19 test and breach of an order to quarantine.

The court was told he made threatening comments while he was being taken to Westgate prison after his arrest and said he would “take the whole plane down” if he was deported.

Taylor was remanded back into custody pending his deportation, but he launched a legal action in an effort to quash the deportation order and receive a new hearing.

Ms Greening said Taylor had strong connections to Bermuda and a legitimate expectation that he would be given an opportunity to make proper representations about his deportation.

She accepted that Taylor’s conviction had placed him in a position where he could be deported, but that the deportation legislation was draconian and its powers needed to be used carefully.

Ms Greening said her client had raised a defence to his deportation, but had not been given a fair chance to argue it.

Lauren Sadler-Best, for the Government, however said that the deportation order was lawfully done and – while Ms Greening had called for a proper hearing about the deportation – there was no statutory system for such a hearing.

Mr Justice Mussenden found that the deportation proceedings were “draconian in nature” because they can order the removal of someone from the island and prevent them from returning.

As such, he said it was necessary for the Minister to make full disclosure to the subject of the deportation order so they can have a chance to respond.

Mr Justice Mussenden said: “The duty for full disclosure was even more evident in light of the applicant’s ties to Bermuda in that he was married to a Bermudian, albeit the marriage was estranged, and he had Bermudian children.

“It may have been that the Department of Child and Family Services Report indicated that the applicant could have a positive long-distance relationship with his children but the applicant may have disagreed with it.

“In my view, the Minister was entitled to have the specific views of the applicant on points such as these.”

Mr Justice Mussenden said the best solution would be to stay the deportation order so that Taylor can file written submissions to the Minister.

He said: “The Minister could then confirm his position of deportation or rescind it.

“If the Minister stands by his recommendation then the Governor can then proceed with her duties in respect of the Minister’s recommendation.”

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