Drug smuggler in Bermuda loses appeal against 18-year jail sentence

By Rumi Samuel Published on May 02, 2021
Drug smuggler in Bermuda loses appeal against 18-year jail sentence

A drug trafficker jailed for 18 years has had an appeal for a lighter sentence rejected.

Omar Davy, 40, who is from Mandeville in Manchester, was found guilty of smuggling US$765,700 worth of heroin into the island on a flight from Toronto, Canada in 2018 and jailed the following year after being convicted by a Supreme Court jury.

Now, the Court of Appeal has upheld that 18-year sentence.

Last month he launched an appeal for a lesser sentence, claiming that he would have pleaded guilty to the offence had he received proper legal advice. Defendants who admit their guilt, show remorse, and avoid a trial can have their custodial sentences reduced by a third.

At his Supreme Court trial, Davy said he was kidnapped by a group of gangsters the day before he flew to the island.

He claimed he was beaten by the gang, who also threatened to harm his mother and sister in Jamaica, before forcing him to become a drug mule.

Davy was arrested shortly after he arrived in Bermuda the following day.

“Had Davy understood the law – which I think is very, very clear concerning the defence of duress in this jurisdiction – he would not have persisted in his not guilty plea,” his lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, told the Court of Appeal.”

Davy's defence that he was acting under duress was rejected at his trial because his family was not in any immediate danger when the threats were made against them.

Judge Geoffrey Bell pointed out that, because a trial had gone ahead, Davy could not be given any credit for saving court time and expense.

He wrote: “If a defendant were to be given the discount based not on whether a trial was avoided because that defendant pleaded guilty, but based on the nature of the advice said to have been given to him by his counsel, the sentencing policy insofar as it affords discounts for early guilty pleas by others would no doubt be thrown into uncertainty and confusion. So the position in my view is that the discount for a guilty plea must remain based on an actual guilty plea, and not one based on what might have happened.”

Christopher had also argued that Davy's sentence was excessive when compared to prison terms given to drug mules.

But the appeal judges also rejected this claim, saying it was “unsupported by authority”.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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