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Stephen Fray heads to Privy Council

Published:Friday | August 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The United Kingdom-based Privy Council will be asked to determine if the local court erred when it rejected expert evidence that Jamaican Stephen Fray was suffering from a mental disorder when he hijacked a Canada-bound plane in 2009.

Fray's attorney, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, QC, says he has been granted leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The Privy Council will be asked to determine if the appeals court misinterpreted section 25A of the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which addresses matters of mental disorders.

The country's highest court will further be asked to determine whether, having regard to the evidence of Fray's psychiatric condition, the local court ought to have considered an order for psychiatric treatment rather than imprisonment.

No date has yet been set for the appeal to be heard.

Fray was convicted in the Western Regional Gun Court on October 8, 2009, on eight counts for illegal possession of firearm, shooting with intent, robbery with aggravation, assault at common law and breaches of the Airport Act, arising from the attempted hijacking.

Though sentenced to 83 years, Fray is to serve 20 years because the sentences are to run concurrently.

Fray lost an appeal in Jamaica in 2011, to have the sentence and conviction overturned.

However, Fray and his attorney have maintained that he was mentally ill in April 2009, when he attempted to hijack the Canjet flight at the Sangster International Airport.