Court of Appeal: October session

A court dispute between the Ministry of National Security and the Bermuda Prison Officers’ Association was dropped yesterday.

Both sides agreed in the Court of Appeal to withdraw the case and the Government also agreed to pay the prison officers’ costs.

The ministry launched an appeal to contest aspects of a Supreme Court ruling in favour of the association against a Labour Disputes Tribunal earlier this year.

The legal action followed a ruling in January in the association’s favour over changes that would have required them to make health insurance payments.

In a separate case, the court heard from Tawanna Wedderburn, the former chief executive of the Bermuda Health Council, who is fighting against her termination of employment in December 2018.

The termination came almost one year after the Supreme Court denied Ms Wedderburn’s request for a judicial review into her case. Her appeal against the Supreme Court ruling can be heard during the November session of the Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice of Appeal Geoffrey Bell told the court he was “most reluctant to adjourn this matter further”.

Charles Richardson, who appeared for the health council, said there had been “flagrant breaches” by Ms Wedderburn’s lawyer, Eugene Johnston, in filing his submissions on the case.

Mr Richardson said that “being able to clear time now to rush this through for the November session is almost impossible”.

Lord Justice Bell said the court saw it as “very important that the case come in the November session”.

The judge ruled that Mr Johnston had to have his submission filed with the court and counsel for opposing counsel by 4pm on Friday.

Lord Justice Bell warned that he would hear a case for the appeal to be dismissed for noncompliance if the paperwork was not submitted.

Leave was granted for the Court of Appeal to hear the case next month of Chez Rogers, a sex offender sentenced in July to 18 months’ imprisonment after he admitted unlawful carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl and luring her.

Cindy Clarke, the Deputy Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, said the sentence was “manifestly inadequate” and that the Crown would ask for a three-year jail term instead.

Mr Richardson, who also represented Rogers, questioned if his client was “being made an example of because of the publicity of his case”.

The defence argued, before Rogers was sentenced in Supreme Court, that young girls in some cases tried to have sex with older men for “sport”.

The Court of Appeal granted permission for the case to be heard next month.

The court also allowed an appeal to be heard in the March session by Katrina Burgess and Cleveland Rogers, who were sentenced to life sentences in June after they were convicted of the 2006 murder of Marcus Gibbings.

Burgess, whose case is joined with that of Rogers, had requested her case be delayed from the November session.

Omar Davy, jailed for 18 years in February 2019 on heroin importation charges, was granted leave to appeal his sentence.

Lord Justice Bell found that Davy’s counsel had failed to advise him to plead guilty to the charges, which would have entitled him to a discount on his sentence.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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