Saturday 19 October, 2019

Elderly Jamaican sentenced to a year for living illegally in Cayman

An elderly Jamaican who has been living illegally in the Cayman Islands for years, has been slapped with a one-year prison sentence.

But he's only expected to serve eight months.

The presiding magistrate last week sentenced Everol Everton Ellis, 61, who pleaded guilty to overstaying his time in the country.

Ellis was arrested last month when immigration officers, acting on information, visited an address where he was found.

When interviewed, he admitted being in the country illegally after an application for a work permit was refused.

Ellis said he came to the Cayman Islands from Jamaica as a carpenter. In recent years, he worked as a mason for three or four days a week at $10 to $12 per hour. He said he worked for various persons and lived with a friend.

His legal representative told the court that Ellis knew that what he was doing was wrong, but he took a chance because he had children to support. The lawyer said a lot of the money he made was sent to Jamaica.

The magistrate expressed appreciation for the guilty plea and co-operation with the law, and said it was always distressing to handle sentencing of the kind he had before him.

He said the negative side of what Ellis did was that he took jobs away from people who had the right to work, which resulted in economic harm to Caymanians and people from other countries who were in the country legally.

He also chided the persons who had harboured and employed Ellis, knowing that he was not legally in the country.

In expressing the hope that the authorities would focus on the persons who had employed Ellis, the magistrate said an underground economy with illegal workers is offensive to the law.

In passing the sentence, he said he hoped the word would get out, and people would stop doing what Ellis did.

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