Chief Justice Roxane George today ordered mediation in the case of Jamaican national, Sandra Russell, who is suing the Guyana Police Force, for in excess of GYD$70M for false imprisonment.
Russell, 54, who resides locally on the West Bank of Demerara arrived in Guyana on May 13, 2013. On June 25, 2018, she was held at Omai Landing in the Essequibo River with 70 grams of marijuana for trafficking.
Three days later, on June 28, 2018, she was placed before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts where she pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, along with a fine of $180,000.
Russell was given a reduction of her sentence and was released from prison on November 10, 2018. According to court documents seen by this publication, Russell was released into the custody of a female Immigration Officer to be processed for deportation to Jamaica.
But this never happened, Russell was taken back to the East La Penitence Police Station where she was kept in custody for an additional eight months.
Russell claims that she was only released from police custody on July 7, 2019 on $10, 000 bail. In her lawsuit filed by lawyer, Darren Wade, Russell has named the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police and Chief Immigration Officer, as Respondents.
In the circumstances, Russell is seeking in excess of $70M for false imprisonment, and several declarations, one being that she suffered inhumane and degrading treatment.
Among other things, she is also seeking $10M per day for every day she spent in unlawful custody. The woman is also asking the court for exemplary and aggravated damages and any further or such other order that the court may deem just.