Court rules convicted sex offender must be deported
A convicted sex offender will be deported from Bermuda back to his homeland of Jamaica on the Governor’s orders, a court heard yesterday.
Brittonie Taylor, 40, was granted a temporary reprieve in October after his lawyer Victoria Greening argued that he had not been given a fair opportunity to challenge the deportation order.
But the Supreme Court heard yesterday that his challenge failed and Rena Lalgie, the Governor, had ordered him to be sent back to Jamaica.
Ms Greening said: “It’s not what my client wanted, to be deported, but he will comply.”
She said he was grateful to have been granted legal aid to mount his challenge and to have been given the “opportunity to engage in a fair, or a much fairer, process.”
Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden said: “I’m going to now lift the stay of the deportation order so that the deportation can continue. That is the order of the court.”
He added: “Best wishes to Mr Taylor.”
Taylor was imprisoned for 16 years in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a daylight serious sexual assault on a woman at a bus stop on South Road in Smith's the previous year.
He admitted carrying his victim to an isolated area and forcing 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.
He 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.
Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, issued a public notice warning when Taylor was released from jail in October 2020.
The Governor signed a deportation order and he was due to be flown back to Jamaica on a commercial flight on March 29 last year.
But Taylor was arrested the day before the flight for an alleged failure to attend a preflight Covid-19 test and breach of an order to quarantine.
He was alleged to have made threatening comments while being taken to Westgate after his arrest and was said to have told officers he would “take the whole plane down” if they deported him.
Ms Greening filed a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that Taylor’s arrest and detention was unlawful but Mr Justice Mussenden disagreed, saying it was lawful because of his conduct when served with the deportation notice.
The judge said a rescheduled deportation by private jet, scheduled to happen on April 23 last year, should not go ahead until the outcome of civil proceedings brought by Taylor to try to get the deportation order quashed.
Taylor said in an affidavit last year that he had a 23-year-old stepdaughter, 17-year-old twins and a ten-year-old son with his Bermudian wife.
He said: “I have a close relationship with my children, particularly with my 17-year-old son.
“Since my release in October 2020, I have spent regular and quality time with him, fishing and making up for the time lost when I was incarcerated.
“My son was – and still is – extremely distressed when he learned that I had been taken back to prison and that the authorities are considering my deportation.”
Yesterday brought a close to the civil case and Ms Greening asked that her client be allowed to “spend some meaningful time with his children” before he left the island.
Mr Justice Mussenden said: “He has been here for quite some time so I would imagine he would have used that time to have some time with his children.”
Ms Greening also raised the “archaic” section of the Constitution which she said would have prevented the courts from deporting Taylor had he been a woman.
The judge said: “I think it’s more than female. He would have to have been the wife [of a Bermudian]. We are not going to go down that route.”
Ms Greening said after the hearing that the Constitution protected foreign mothers but not fathers in such cases and it should be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.
“In this modern age it is depressing and unfortunate that there are two standards enshrined in the Constitution of all places,” she added. “The Constitution, in fact, embraces and allows discrimination.”
It was not possible to find out from the Department of Immigration yesterday when Taylor would be deported.