The family of a young autistic man are demanding a public enquiry into his conviction and imprisonment, after his deportation to Jamaica was scrapped.
22-year-old Osime Brown forced return to Jamaica was overturned by the Home Office last week Tuesday, following demonstrations in London and Glasgow.
The young man who has a mental age of seven and suffers with heart problems and post-traumatic stress syndrome was sentenced to five years in prison, under joint enterprise laws, after being present during the theft of a mobile phone.
According to witnesses who appeared in court during Osime Brown’s trial in 2018 the young Jamaican tried to stop the youths robbing the victim.
Joan Martin, 54, Brown’s Mum, speaking to the Weekly Gleaner, following the Home Office decision said: “The reversed decision shows the Government can respond in a just and dynamic way.
“However, I have always believed Osime’s imprisonment was a grave miscarriage of justice. The criminal trial took no proper account of his autism.
“Additionally, the police singled him out, ignored CCTV evidence and when he could not process nor respond according to protocol when being interviewed; the police compounded his situation by adding charges of perverting the course of justice.
“I am in the process of organising an appeal against this injustice.”
A petition on the Justice For Osime Brown site is calling for a public enquiry and has attracted 3546 signatures, when viewed on Monday, the 21st of June.
The petition which contributed to halting the deportation of Osime generated 427,000 signatures.
In October 2020 Osime was released from prison. While in confinement he experienced a heart attack and committed serious self-harm, which his mother believes was induced because of the anxiety caused by threats of deportation.
Brown left Jamaica at the age of four and has not returned to the Caribbean island since living in England. According to Joan Martin, when her son first heard news of the threatened deportation he asked his Mother what bus he could catch from Jamaica to see her in Dudley.
After the Home Office’s you turn Ms Martin issued a statement thanking her campaigners support. She said: “Without you my family would have been lost and my son, Osime, would have been condemned to a very short and miserable life.
“But I realise that the fight is not over, because there are many Osimes in the United Kingdom, people who need to be listened to and believed. For those who are facing injustice I want them to preserve and never give up in pursuit of justice.”
Labour MP, for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum said the Home Office should now review all deportation orders, especially concerning those with learning difficulties and ethnic minorities.
Joint enterprise means that anyone complicit in a crime can be sentenced, even if they haven’t had a direct involvement. This law disproportionately affects young black men.
According to the Centre for Crime and Justice studies 53.3 percent of those imprisoned for crimes under Joint Enterprise are from Black and minority backgrounds, although consisting of 6.3 per cent of population in the UK.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We review all the cases when new information is provided and all decisions are made in accordance with the law.”