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Privy Council Order Could Mean Freedom for One Man

A man who was convicted 37 years ago and detained at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre may soon be set free.



A man who was convicted 37 years ago and ordered to be detained at Sandilands Rehabilitation Center could soon be freed following an order from the Privy Council.


A man who was convicted of rape and housebreaking in 1984 and ordered detained at Sandilands Rehabilitation Center until discharged by the Governor General is getting a second chance at freedom, following a Privy Council order. 

In April 1984, Christopher Stubbs was sentenced to seven years in prison on each count after conviction. Thirty-six years later, Stubbs sought leave to appeal to the Privy Council, arguing that his confinement was unconstitutional and a breach of his rights under article 20 of the constitution. His attorney Sonia Timothy says the decision has wide ranging implications. Due to mental challenges, Stubbs was sentenced to Sandilands Rehabilitation Center and has been there ever since.

Stubbs appealed the conviction and sentencing in 1985 and both were quashed. In June 2021, the Court of Appeal dismissed Stubbs’ application, ruling that it was woefully out of time and a more effective remedy may be to write the Governor General and make a case for discharge.

In December 15, 2021, the privy council allowed the appeal and ordered the matter be remitted to the Supreme Court and the question of the appellant’s potential release from detention be considered no later than three months from the order

The matter is scheduled to be heard before Justice Bernard Turner on the 21st. At that time a psychiatric and social report will be considered on if Stubbs is suffering from a mental disorder requiring him to be detained in hospital for medical treatment.