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Hospital board spends thousands of dollars for treatment of sex offender in UK

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) – The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) says it is spending almost US$230,000 a year to treat a violent child sex offender in Britain.

The Royal Gazette newspaper reports that an agreement reached between the BHB and St Andrew’s Healthcare in England to provide mental health services for criminals runs until 2020.

The contract covers persons with criminal backgrounds or those seen as being at high risk of committing offences.

According to the Gazette, the only patient being treated under the deal is Merrick Seaman, a Bermudian who was jailed for eight years in 2011 for a serious sex assault on a five-year-old girl.

The news emerged after a list of BHB contracts valued at US$50,000 or more, published in the Official Gazette this month, included St Andrew’s, which is in Northampton.

It showed the BHB agreed to a US$458,949, two-year contract with the high-security psychiatric hospital, to run from June 2018 to June 2020.

“St Andrew’s has been contracted to provide forensic mental health services,” said a BHB spokeswoman.

“This is a specialised inpatient mental health service for people who have a history of criminal offending or are at high risk of offending.”

The contract was not linked to a specific individual, but only Seaman was receiving care under the agreement, the Gazette said.

The BHB spokeswoman declined to confirm the patient was Seaman.

Seaman, 33, was first eligible for parole in April 2013 but it was recommended that his release should be delayed until the risk of him committing further offences was reduced.

He was given another psychiatric review the following year after saying: “I intend to go on a killing spree when I get out of jail.”

Seaman was convicted of wounding another inmate in 2016, which resulted in an additional nine months being added to his sentence.

A Supreme Court judgement released last August showed the Ministry of Health and the BHB sought a hospital detention order to allow Seaman to be moved to a British hospital.

Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams said Seaman could be sent overseas for care and treatment and that he should be detained at St Andrew’s.

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