CMC - A Jamaican father of seven, a convicted drug dealer, has lost a Court of Appeal bid to remain in Bermuda and now faces deportation back to his homeland.
Willston Davis told the court that he wanted to remain with his Bermudian wife, Terry-Anne, and their twin son and daughter, who are 13.
His lawyer, Peter Sanderson, argued that despite being a convicted drug dealer, Davis, who has been on legal aid, ought to be allowed to remain here because he has a right to a family life.
However on Thursday, the Court of Appeal turned down Davis’ challenge to his deportation, recommended by the Minister of Immigration, and upheld the decision of then-Puisne Judge and now Chief Justice Ian Kawaley on March 30, when he ruled against the Jamaican.
The judges said in a written ruling that “we agree with the judge’s finding and conclusion ... that incontrovertible evidence showed that the minister took considerable care to assess the quality of the relationship between Davis, his wife and their children and all the other relevant circumstances before making the impugned deportation recommendation."
Sanderson asked the judges to put a 21-day ‘stay of execution’ on the deportation so he has chance to consider filing an appeal to the Privy Council in London, which is the British overseas territory’s highest court of appeal.
Maryellen Goodwin, representing the Crown, said that since Davis’ passport had expired, assistance must be sought from the Jamaican consul to repatriate him, which might cause some delay.
The Court of Appeal heard how Davis married his Bermudian wife in 1997. The pair were separated in 2002, although they later reconciled.
Having lost his immigration status as a result, Davis was found in 2003 to have been working illegally.
In June that year, he was caught giving 251 grams of crack cocaine to his girlfriend Cindy Augustus at a child care centre, where she worked as a teacher.
Davis was convicted at trial and was handed a 12-year prison sentence for the crime.
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, not his wife, at the time of the drug crime.
Augustus was jailed for eight years.
In 2008, while still in prison, Davis learned that the Department of Immigration was seeking to deport him on his release.
He wrote to then-Immigration Minister David Burch, pleading to remain with his family.
In October 2011 - two months before his release - Davis was told that he was to be deported.
Acting Minister Walter Roban recommended that he be deported, following an investigation of his domestic situation by the Department of Child and Family Services.
However, he was allowed to go and live with his family after being released from jail in December 2011 because his lawyer had already launched court proceedings challenging the deportation.
The case ended up at the Court of Appeal on June 19, following a failed bid in March to get the Supreme Court to overturn the deportation.