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Man Who Was Wrongfully Accused Of Rape Seeks $27million As Compensation Fees

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Matthew Sewell was first detained at the age of 18 in 2006 after he was wrongfully accused of raping a six-year-old girl. For two years, he was detained at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services before he was granted bail in 2008.

A Jamaican man who was falsely accused and jailed for close to nine years in the Bahamas is demanding a compensation of $27million from the government.

Matthew Sewell was first detained at the age of 18 in 2006 after he was wrongfully accused of raping a six-year-old girl. For two years, he was detained at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services before he was granted bail in 2008.

Three years later, Sewell was charged with rape once again and remained in custody for over four years without trial. In August 2013, he was granted bail and the rape charges from 2006 and 2009 were dismissed. Two months later Matthew was again arrested for housebreaking allegations, while he was on bail for that charge, he was told that he was wanted for murder. Mattew was therefore taken back into custody albeit never being formally charged with that offense.

Sewell is now 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.

He is also seeking $27 million in damages. This week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville struck out the defense filed by the government respondents and gave judgment to Sewell for all of the claims set out in his writ. The court scheduled a hearing on October 28 for the assessment of damages.

He is also seeking $27 million in damages. This week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville struck out the defense filed by the government respondents and gave judgment to Sewell for all of the claims set out in his writ. The court scheduled a hearing on October 28 for the assessment of damages.

“We are very pleased that the court has given judgment in favor of Mr. Sewell in relation to his claims of abuse over the nine years and nine months,” Sewell’s attorney, Fred Smith, told the Tribune newspaper.

“To put this in perspective, the court has held that Mr. Sewell was falsely imprisoned for 3,568 days illegally. That is a chunk of nearly a decade stolen from Mr. Sewell at the age of 18 years old until he was 28. It baffles a civilized mind to think that between the Government, prison, police, and immigration authorities, Mr. Sewell’s rights were repeatedly abused.”

Smith said during the many years in and out of jail, his client suffered so much as he had his nose broken and one of his eyes nearly being gouged out. Sewell has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, Smith told the newspaper.

“This young man has been forever scarred by the inhumane and degrading treatment he received for nearly 10 years in the clutches of a system of institutionalized civil crimes against humanity. This kind of case reflects savagery, ignorance, and inhumanity, which really is internationally embarrassing to The Bahamas.”

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Ngere Ikenna is a passionate learner and freelancer writer, blogger and a lover of good reads.
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