HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — A convicted Jamaican drug dealer faces the prospect of leaving his Bermudian wife and children behind and deported to his Caribbean homeland after losing a Supreme Court battle to stay here.
Willston Davis, said to be a "hard-working person" who has 13-year-old twins born here, argued that his human right to a family life meant he should be allowed to remain here. He was granted legal aid to
pursue his case.
However, in ruling against Davis, Puisine Judge Ian Kawaley, who is to take over as Chief Justice shortly, said the right to a family life is not protected under the Bermuda constitution.
But that right is protected by European law, and he suggested Davis might have more success if he appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Davis’ lawyer, Peter Sanderson, said after the ruling he might take the matter to the ECHR if necessary.
“He is fighting to stay here because he wants to stay with his family. It’s uncertain what will happen next.
“We are considering a further appeal. However, it is possible there may be an attempt to deport him in the meantime. Obviously we will attempt to resist any deportation while the appeal is ongoing,” Sanderson said.
During the case, the judge heard that Davis was first notified of plans to deport him in 2008.
He then received confirmation he was going to be deported in October 2011, two months before he was released from prison after serving eight years behind bars.
He had been sentenced to 12 years in August 2005 after being found guilty of supplying crack cocaine.
During the trial, Davis was described as a married construction worker with seven children -- three in Bermuda and four in Jamaica.
He was living with his girlfriend, Cindy Augustus, not his wife, at the time of the drug crime. Augustus was jailed for eight years for her role in the crime.
During a Supreme Court judicial review hearing in the deportation case last month, Davis explained through his lawyer that he married his wife Terry-Anne Davis in September 1997.
Acting Immigration Minister Walter Roban recommended that Davis be deported after serving his prison sentence, after the department had investigated his family circumstances in reports filed in March 2010.
The reports said Davis appeared to be a “a devoted father and hard-working person” until he committed the drug offence. They added that he had a close relationship with his twin son and daughter, and his wife was willing to give him a “second chance” despite a period of separation.
The Supreme Court also heard Davis is illiterate and was living and working in Bermuda without permission from the Immigration Department at the time of his arrest.
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