As a Parliamentarian, I feel it is my duty to do all I can to help those who have been wrongly convicted or blatantly mistreated by the criminal justice system. Miscarriages of justice have a truly devasting consequence for those who are convicted. It is vital that the Government and the courts do everything they can to prevent them from occurring in the first place. When miscarriages do happen, there must be quick and effective mechanisms in place to correct them. Currently, those obligations are not being met.
These failings are made obvious to me by the consistent stream of emails I receive from those have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice and the cases I hear about through my involvement with the APPG on Miscarriages of Justice. One of these cases is that of Osime Brown.
Osime is a twenty-one-year-old man who is autistic, learning disabled and currently suffers from severe PTSD from his time in care and in prison. He is currently serving a five-year sentence for a crime that he did not commit as a teenager.
Throughout his life, Osime has been failed by local authorities and now he has been failed by the justice system. Osime was in the company of a group of boys who stole a mobile phone and sentenced under the now unlawful joint enterprise law. A friend of Osime’s testified that Osime was not involved in the crime, and it has since emerged that Osime had attempted to talk the group out of committing the crime. Nevertheless, Osime was convicted and sentenced harshly. He is in prison and is self-harming to the point that he has hundreds of scars on his body.
On the 9th September 2020, this vulnerable young man received a letter stating that he will be held on release on October 7th and will be taken to a holding facility to Jamaica. Osime left Jamaica when he was four years old and he has never returned. On 14th September 2020, Osime was put on suicide watch after he told prison officers that he intended to take his own life.
When Osime was told of the plans to deport him, he asked his mother which way he would have to walk to get home. There is no one to support him in Jamaica. As his mother said, “if they deport him, he’ll die”.
Osime needs to have his deportation order removed immediately and he needs to be released and returned to the care of his mother.
In my capacity as Chair of the APPG on Miscarriages of Justice, I will be making representations to the Secretary of State for Justice on the behalf of Osime and will call for Osime to get the justice and support he deserves. If you wish to sign the petition in Osime’s name, you can do so here.