Justin D’Angelo Ramoon, 26, is the second former Northward Prison inmate to challenge his removal from the Cayman prison earlier this year to the United Kingdom, alleging that the action taken by the Cayman Islands government was unlawful.
The request for a judicial review of Ramoon’s case, filed Sept. 28 by attorneys at Samson Law, alleges that government has violated several sections of the 2009 Constitution Order’s Bill of Rights, including prohibition against inhuman or degrading punishment, and the rights of access to justice and private and family life.
Following his sentencing in December 2016 for the murder of Jason Powery, Ramoon was kept at Northward Prison until his removal to the U.K. prison service in late June 2017.
“No advance warning was given of this removal,” the judicial review application states. “No formal explanation or reasons were given. [Ramoon] was given no access to any attorney or to legal redress before the courts prior to his sudden removal.”
The application claims that Ramoon’s family in Cayman, including his partner and 2-year-old son are “deeply affected” by his removal to the U.K. prison. He is being held some 4,800 miles away, according to the judicial review request, and was denied telephone access in the U.K. prison service for two months.
Ramoon’s brother, Osbourne Douglas, 30, was also sent to the U.K. in June after his conviction for the same murder. Douglas has also filed a similar request for judicial review concerning his removal to the U.K.
According to Cayman prison authorities in a statement issued in June: “[Ramoon’s] removal was authorized by the U.K. and Cayman Islands governments in the interests of national security and public safety for the people of the Cayman Islands.”
The removal of both prisoners was authorized by a 19th century British law – the Colonial Prisoners Removal Act of 1884. The Act allows prisoners to be sent to the U.K. for various reasons, including situations where it is “likely that the life of the prisoner will be endangered or his health permanently injured by further imprisonment.”
Also included in the act is removal “by reason of there being no prison in the said British possession in which the prisoner can properly undergo his sentence or otherwise the removal of the prisoner is expedient for his safer custody or for more efficiently carrying his sentence into effect.”
Samson Law attorneys disputed this claim, stating in the judicial review application that “for the first time” the government has made an “unspecified assertion” that Ramoon was involved in some criminality within the Cayman community while incarcerated at Northward.
“The respondents [the governor, prisons director and attorney general] suggest that Her Majesty’s Prison Northward is unable to offer the level of security required,” the judicial review request states. “No evidence is provided.”
At the Cayman prison, Ramoon was kept in solitary confinement for 22 hours each day, his attorneys said.
The Cayman Islands Grand Court has not heard either request for judicial review. If the court agrees to consider either case, it would come before the court for a full hearing.