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Bahamas: VINDICATED: Supreme Court rules in favour of Jamaican national Matthew Sewell

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A Supreme Court judge has ruled in favor of Jamaican national Matthew Sewell after years of a legal battle with the government over his false imprisonment.

Sewell was first arrested in June 2006 at the age of 18 after being accused of raping a six-year-old girl. He had been granted three weeks stay in The Bahamas to visit his father.

He was subsequently arrested five more times on different charges and detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre on the grounds that he was in the country illegally.

For more than nine years he was imprisoned and detained on and off without facing a hearing on charges of sexual assault, housebreaking and murder.

He is suing the government for damages pertaining to false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and breaches of his fundamental rights under the Constitution.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville yesterday struck out the defense filed by the government respondents and gave judgment to Sewell for all of the claims set out in his writ.

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