Sixty-four-year-old Errol Vivian Jones is adamant he was deported from Canada back in 1999 and continues to question why authorities there want him back when they were the ones who sent him home to Barbados.
“I got full parole in 1996 . . . while on parole I was ordered before an immigration judge [and] I had an immigration hearing. . . .
The judge came to the conclusion that I was persona non grata and I had to leave. I was asked why I should not be deported and I said I had an 18-year-old daughter that I would like to be there for and I was refused,” Jones told Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch today as the extradition case against him continued.
Jones was convicted on two drug offences in Canada and was granted full parole after serving a portion of his time in prison.
The offences were committed on November 11, 1991 and August 31, 1994.
He allegedly failed to comply with the conditions of the parole by failing to check in with the parole office on the given date. This resulted in a warrant being issued by the Canadian Correctional Services for Jones’ arrest as he still has 889 days remaining to serve on his sentence.
Jones said he had reported to his parole officer as requested four times before he was deported.
“I was picked up in the fall of ’97 by immigration officers . . . while I was in custody I told them . . . I have a parole hearing on October 10, 1997. I reminded immigration of that, they responded, ‘don’t worry about Corrections Canada you are going home, you are being deported’. I was in custody . . . from ’97 until July 25, 1999,” Jones explained through questioning by his lead attorney Clement Lashley, QC.
He further told the court that the only time he left the Immigration Detention Centre was when officers escorted him to Ottawa to collect his emergency passport to travel to Barbados.
“I did not pay for the issuance of the passport, Corrections Canada did,” said Jones who disclosed that the same officers later took him to the airport.
“I was told that because I was not going to give any trouble they would just put me on a flight and travel unescorted to Barbados. They left me as soon as I was walking to the gate towards the plane . . . they came to the air bridge and watched the door close. The [deportation] document was given to the captain of the plane . . . on the air bridge,” said Jones who added that the plane departed Canada “five minutes” after it closed its doors.
“I was the last person on and the first person off because I was a deportee,” he added.
On arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport around 3 p.m. he said his documents were handed to an airline representative at the bottom of the plane’s stairs and they escorted him to the immigration desk where he was processed.
“I met with Earl Whittaker, he was a supervisor of immigration… and I was released into the population of Barbados. I was deported Sir, I never had control of the passport. I don’t know what happened to it,” Jones contended.
He explained that he had been living in Barbados at Bridgefield, St Thomas since then and had even worked as a Transport Board driver before the police knocked on his door on January 16, 2019 with a warrant of apprehension
“He [Inspector Mark White] said to me Canada wants you extradited . . . I said why do they want to extradite me when they deport me and he said he does not know but he wants me to come back to the station. . .and I was processed,” Jones said, saying that was how he had ended up before the court.
Under cross-examination by Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman and Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney, Jones was again adamant that he was deported and that it took Canadian authorities 19 months to get him an emergency passport.
“No I did not deport myself,” he stated, while admitting that he did not serve his full sentence for his crimes in Canada.
His cross-examination will continue in the District ‘C’ Magistrates’ Court on May 17.