‘Making The Safety Of Our Children A Priority’

February 21, 2018 | 15 Comments

Jonathan Jon Cumberbatch — a 55-year-old convicted child sex offender — is to be released from prison today, with the Government previously issuing a public notification and a number of groups noting their support for the Government’s decision to notify the public, while expressing concern about Cumberbatch being released and saying the safety of our children must be a priority.

Public Notification Of His Release

Last week, the Attorney-General officially notified the public that Jonathan Jon Cumberbatch would be released from prison on February 21st after having been convicted and jailed for sexual exploitation of a young person while in a position of trust, and sexual assault.

The Government released his photo, said the Ministry of Education is sharing this information with the schools via principals, and also noted the decision to issue a public notification was made in consultation with the Commissioner of Police.


Coalition, SCARS, Women’s Resource Centre & Centre Against Abuse

A statement issued following the notification on behalf of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, SCARS, Women’s Resource Centre and the Centre Against Abuse said they are “relieved and grateful” to see the Minister of Legal Affairs “has accepted the need to inform the public when a dangerous, sexual predator is released into the community.

“However, we have grave concerns about the inevitability of this release at this time,” they said.

Noting that Cumberbatch is being released after serving 8 years out of a 12 year sentence, the groups said Cumberbatch “remains a dangerous, predatory sex offender” who “remains a very real danger to the children of our community.”

“Child sex offenders get a second chance, but their victims are not afforded the same luxury of getting their innocence back,” they noted.

“Child sex offenders go into prison after scarring a child or children. They can come out cleaned up on the outside with their prison outfit off, the question is have they been cleaned up on the inside?”

Women’s Action Group

Also issuing a statement following the notification was the newly formed Women’s Action Group who noted that “Jonathan Cumberbatch, a serial convicted sex offender, will be released from prison on February 21, 2018 after completing his second sentence for sexual assault.

“Cumberbatch is still considered a high-risk offender,” the Women’s Action Group pointed out, adding that they are “gravely concerned” and questioning some aspects.

“What are the protocols, if any, in place for him to be monitored? What, if any, are the parameters in place regarding him being in places frequented or attended by children? What consequences, if any, are there should he meet or contact young people?

“We applaud the Government for informing the public of this potential threat to our community. This is a first step to making the safety of our children a priority.

“The Women’s Action Group encourages the Government to put into place legislation that mandates the monitoring of released sex-offenders and request that they continue to inform the community in a transparent manner of any actions by sex offenders that could be of concern or harmful to the community.

“This is a national conversation that needs to be revisited at our earliest convenience.”

The group offered the following suggestions to parents: “Show Johnathan Cumberbatch’s picture to your children and tell them to avoid him, ensure that your children do not walk alone, consult with SCARS for safety pointers, encourage schools, home-schools, and churches to invite SCARS to give trainings.”

No Legal Way Currently Available To Further Detain Him In Prison

Following the notification last week, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, “Understandably, the impending release of Jonathan Cumberbatch is concerning to the community.

“It is important to note that regrettably, there is no legal mechanism currently available to further detain him in prison. The notification issued by the Attorney General is an important feature of cases like this and the heightened public awareness of his release is exactly what the notice is for.

Expect To Bring Amendments To Increase Powers Of Criminal Justice System

Minister Caines added, “The safety of young people in particular is paramount in our considerations and through the work of the Ministry of Legal Affairs we expect to bring amendments to relevant laws that will increase the powers of the criminal justice system in these terrible cases.”

Police Information

The police have a website section providing information on how to help protect your child, which can be found here.

Support SCARS Charity

SCARS [Saving Children And Revealing Secrets] is a charity with a mission “to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse and to be an advocate and voice for children who have been sexually molested as well as their affected family.” Their work has been highly praised in the community, they offer free training, and to find out more or to assist their efforts, please visit their website.

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Comments (15)

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  1. nerema says:

    If there are four years of his 12-year sentence still to run, why is there “no legal mechanism to further detain him”?
    What part of the story are we missing?
    What is the reason for him being released prior to the end of his prison term?

  2. Mark says:

    The AG is wrong – there is (or was) a way to keep him in prison. They are just numpties. Further, there is a way to at least set conditions on his release which they have also not done because, again, numpties.

  3. mm says:

    IF there are four years to go to the completion of his sentence, according to the first comment, then the powers that be should have ensured that legislation kept pace with varying levels of criminality. There are international conferences that take place yearly, that give opportunity for our government to participate, learn and inform, and further make changes in the law…..The legislators have seen fit to ban pit-bulls .., but have difficulty bringing forth road-side sobriety tests that take place in other parts of the world….some parts of Bermuda law were changed or suspended to take care of America,s Cup.

  4. Question says:

    Further to that…if he completes 12 years and is still considered at-risk, what controls are to be put in place given that his time has been served.

  5. FedUp says:

    There is no rehabilitation for sexual offenders like him. His sentence was way too lenient.

  6. Curious says:

    Something does not add up here and I encourage our Minister to fully disclose how long he has known of this clear and present danger to our children and what actions he has taken, can take and is willing to take to protect our children.

    Our Minister’s claim that his hands are tied does not align with what the Women’s Resource Centre, Coalition for the Protection of Children and others are claiming. Please share all options that are or could be on the table to protect our children. If not you Minister then who is willing to help us protect our children?

    Please hold a public meeting on this man’s release today and all the issues around sexual offenders in Bermuda. Please answer all the questions our community has on this clear and present danger being released into our community under his watch.

    • Kai says:

      Stfu with your plz this and plz that b s. You sound like u giving commands your really askin somethin dumb onion

  7. Coffee says:

    Give him free room for life in Scotlands Outer Hebrides, he’ll have to fish and farm to eat , couple of goats and sheep for company .

  8. Onionjuice says:

    But to let a killer out of jail is ok. with most people.. I will take the sex offender over a killer…running around.. as you cannot get LIFE back

  9. Just a suggestion says:

    Hey Coffee, I’ll pay for his flight to Scotland. I know what happens to that type of monster in the Uk. Thats why they release them under different identities only after serving full sentences. British women are tough, Scottish lass’s tougher…..

  10. rodney s says:

    The truth is that Bermuda has made no preparation for the release of this man. To blame him for this is wrong . He needs a home , a job , transportation , and counselling . Will we provide these things to him , or is he being set up to fail. That would mean that other children may get hurt , just from our poor planning . We must help him fit back into society . We helped those of gun crimes , some of whom sit in our House of Parliament . So Bermuda , You must get over your self . The lives of those destroyed by other such crimes walk our streets everyday .The man who killed my brother walks the streets of Bermuda today. I was told to just suck it up . Short of taking matters into your own hands , we must abide by the law and let the guilty go free some times. Tough .

    • PBanks says:

      It would seem that the counselling aspect was completely missing during this man’s incarceration. So what now? There’s nothing compelling him to seek it now, he’s “done his time” according to the powers that be.

    • Sara says:

      It has been proven time and time again that pedophiles can not be rehabilitated. Not to mention in Bermuda we don’t force rehabilitation in jail! It’s a choice the prisoner gets to make. So their isn’t much hope for these people sadly. And in most of these cases those who abuse were also abused. The cycle keeps going on and on.

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