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Man accused of breaking Covid rules tells court ‘I have all the law that I need’

A 57-year-old man walked out of the airport after refusing a Covid test and was later seen on CCTV buying water from a supermarket when he was meant to be in quarantine, Magistrates’ Court heard.

Dwight Heatherley also allegedly refused to fill a Travel Authorisation form or pay the fee, did not test for the coronavirus at any point when he arrived back on the island and refused to quarantine at his home.

The offences allegedly occurred in February last year, but Mr Heatherley did not enter a plea until August.

At his trial on Wednesday, Magistrates’ Court was shown video footage of Pc Paul Watson questioning Mr Heatherley at LF Wade International Airport about why he did not complete the TA form.

Mr Heatherley responded: “I did not consent to this form … I am refusing everything. I have all the law that I need.”

Mr Watson told the court that he was told by an inspector not to arrest Mr Heatherley at the time because it was unknown whether he had Covid-19.

In another video played in court, Mr Heatherley was seen leaving the airport without getting tested for the virus, which was required at the time.

Members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment were instructed by the Ministry of Health to visit Mr Heatherley’s Paget home throughout February to contact him.

According to Mr Heatherley, they visited his home 11 times and the court heard that they received no response until the last occasion, which was captured on video by an RBR soldier.

The clip showed Mr Heatherley telling another soldier: “Every time you guys come to my house, it is a violation of my inalienable rights.

“Go back to your superiors and tell them to stop harassing me and to never come here again.”

The court was told that several months after the alleged airport incident, Kevin Christopher, from The MarketPlace, was asked to view CCTV from a Paget store, from the day that Mr Heatherley returned to the island.

He identified Mr Heatherley, whom he claimed to have known for more than 30 years, in the footage.

Taking the stand in his own defence, Mr Heatherley said that he took a Covid test, which was negative, before returning to the island from Atlanta, but admitted to not completing a TA form, because he did not consent to it.

He added that he told police the same thing that he told RBR members when they came to his house in July with a warrant, which was left at his doorstep.

Mr Heatherley told magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo that the Covid regulations were not laws, but mandates from the Ministry of Health and he did not believe that it was a crime to not follow those rules.

Mr Tokunbo adjourned the case to January 25 for his ruling.

• 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.