Court awards multimillion-dollar compensation to Jamaican woman
Georgetown – Acting Chief Justice, Roxane George awarded compensation on Wednesday totalling GUY $3.1 million (U.S. $14 849) to a 56-year-old Jamaican woman, who had been illegally detained in prison for eight months.
Attorney Darren Wade filed the multi-million-dollar lawsuit on behalf of Sandra Russell against the State for breach of her fundamental rights to freedom after she was unlawfully imprisoned by the police.
Russell asked the State for GUY $10 million (U.S. $47 850) a day for every day she had been in unlawful custody, more than GUY $20 million (U.S. $95 700) for the inhumane and degrading treatment she endured in detention, another GUY $20 million for the breach of her freedom of movement and GUY $50 million (U.S. $239 250) for false imprisonment.
She was wrongfully detained at the East La Penitence police station in the Guyana capital of Georgetown, shortly after she was released from prison, having served a sentence for trafficking narcotics.
Russell said she had become depressed and stressed since the ventilation at the police station was poor, and she was forced to sleep on a thin mattress on the concrete floor.
Three years ago, Russell was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined GUY $135 000 (U.S. $650) by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for the possession of 70 grams of cannabis.
But Russell had her sentence reduced to three and a half months.
On November 10, 2018, however, Russell was released into the custody of a female immigration officer who told her that she would be deported to Jamaica.
That never occurred, and instead Russell was kept in custody for eight months at the police station before she was released on GUY $10,000 bail (U.S. $50) on July 7, 2019. (CMC)