Fahy: Middleton Crew Didn’t Apply For Permits

March 26, 2014

middleton_r_cp_9509122Following confusion surrounding the immigration matters with an overseas film crew, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy has clarified that they weren’t refused work permits, they actually didn’t apply for them.

Speaking in the Senate today, Minister Fahy said, “The Middleton film crew were not denied work permits.

“Rather, they had not applied for any permits in the first instance – which is what they should have done.”

He said the matter was brought to him at a standing Immigration meeting on March 20th for consideration as a result of there having been no work permit applications made.

“I made the correct determination during the meeting that temporary work permits must be applied for – which requires a ten day lead time,” said Minister Fahy.

The filmmakers are planning to travel to Bermuda to film a documentary for Discovery ID about the tragic murder of Canadian visitor Rebecca Middleton [pictured], which occurred in July 1996.

The 17 year old was raped and killed while vacationing on the island, and the handling of the case has been widely criticized both locally and overseas, and the Middleton family and their supporters have campaigned for many years for justice to be served.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun a few years ago, Rebecca’s father David Middleton said, “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This ‘double jeopardy’ rule got us all hung up and we couldn’t do anything.

“I am appalled at the Bermuda police and prosecutors because in any jurisdiction around the world, they would fight to see the perpetrators brought to justice. It hasn’t happened here.”

“We had a great family and a great life. I choose to remember that. I don’t forget what happened to Becky, though,” said Mr. Middleton. “I am able to get along on a daily basis. I guess that is as close as I am going to come to closure.”

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  1. Middleton Film Crew Denied Work Permits | Bernews.com | April 5, 2014
  1. YADON says:

    Let’s not forget who the scum of the earth lawyer was who got the dirtbags off.

    • Eye of Horus says:

      I remember who & also remember who was AG & Deputy Premier at the time.

    • jt says:

      Lawyers defend clients. It is their job to get the best result possible. We all depend on it, even if we never find ourselves before the courts and even if we find it distasteful at times. There is plenty of room for anger and blame in this case, but your’s is misplaced.

  2. O'Brien says:

    They came here to film about the Middleton murder. You would think, given the context, that Bermudian officialdom would be hard-pressed to make itself look any worse.


    • Triangle Drifter says:

      True, but had they been let in to do the job without work permits, or even if permits were given with a snap of the finger Bean & Co would be all over the OBA for giving then a break.

      No matter what was done it was a no win situation.

      • Mazubo says:

        I feel for the family to have this come up again and they deserve Justice.
        I know the feeling of the injustice of this system as millions of innocent people have been raped, tortured and murdered over hundreds of years and the perpetrator’s legacy still benefits.
        Justice for all.

        • aceboy says:

          You know the feeling? Stop. Just stop.

        • Citizen Banned says:

          White girl gets raped and killed by two blacks, yet you still manage to make this about blacks & slavery. You clearly have no shame whatsoever.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      If they were allowed to work without permits there would have been hell to pay.
      When they apply for permits, hopefully they get them.

  3. Terry says:


  4. nuffin but the truth says:

    it’s clear to me that Bermuda needs to get itself act together,far too many scumbags are amongst us all.

    • Eye of Horus says:

      Colin Coxal tried to get rid of the scumbags & just look what happened to him.

  5. Coffee says:

    All foreigners need a work permit to work in Canada . The civil servant not the minister jumped on this one . Kudos to the alert civil servant .

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      If only the civil servants handling the case itself had been as ‘alert’.

      • Eye of Horus says:

        Would it be easy that easy for you to conduct yourself dealing with something so horrific? The civil servants tried to conduct the case the best they could but were obstructed & mislead. Then the case was rushed to trial by certain powers that be. After all this the main person who championed the evidence gathering & fight to reopen the case was kicked off the island.

        • whatdoesthefoxsay? says:

          Not entirely correct. Investigative errors did not help. The most significant error was made by the AG who authorised charges without the results of the DNA analysis being known. A grave error. Also, if by the ‘main person’ you are referring to Coxall, he too did not escape criticism. The Serious Crime Commission in 2000 found that senior officers were not playing an active enough role in the investigation of major crimes. That changed after 2000 with a change in policy by the Commissioner of Police. By the way, Coxall wasn’t kicked off the island; he broke his contract and resigned.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          There are always obstructions and complications when you’re investigating rape and murder. The problem was that many of the public employees involved were incompetent. The case was rushed (as you said), mishandled and then presided over by a judge who made mind-blowingly stupid decisions.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      If that is the case that is one civil servant who should not have to worry about losing his/her job. Well done.

  6. X man says:

    I could only gather that the idea behind this affair is to force the Bermuda Govt. to reopen the case and have a new trial.
    The Questions are [1] – is the Govt. of the day willing to spend a Million Dollars of borrowed money to do this to make a few
    desperate People happy.
    [2] what type of impact will it have on the minds of people and the risk of this turning into a high powered Racial event.
    [3] many people now feel that elements of the Govt. of the day is behind this [ I hear the talk from both Black and White People.
    [4] several People Suggest that the is the Father been allowed to express his rage on Bermuda.

    As I said before this resurfaced reminder of a horrific Murder and a botched case is more likely to raise a lot of controversy in Bermuda
    and it also comes at a bad time.
    So I finally ask – are we going to concentrate on solving existing crucial problems or are we going down memory lane?
    Else for the Camera Crew – get a work permit first ! – what they thought we were that so small and weak that they would walk
    [fly] into Bermuda and do as they like!

    • X Pat says:

      Agreed on reopening the case, but the government should look at revisiting the work permit process. Bermuda is so beautiful, I’m sure many producers would like to film here, but the work permit process is so time consuming and expensive that they’d rather film somewhere a little less beautiful without the headache.

  7. #hmm says:

    Dr. Carol Shuman , Her recently released book, Kill Me Once…Kill Me Twice: Murder on the Queen’s Playground, the tragic story of the murder of young Rebecca Middleton in Bermuda.

    >>Has anyone seen the cover of the book? Why is Dr. Ewart Brown on the cover? This happened under UBP Dr. David Saul’s watch…

    Does anyone know the connection?

    • JONESER says:

      Who cares why Dr. Brown is on the cover, why are they even filming this period why relive this horrible incident. Sad!

  8. no way says:

    and Justis didn’t do it……..

  9. MAKE MY DAY says:

    Fahy is just playing-for-time here!! They (OBA) do NOT want more bad publicity for the Island to be broadcast to the general public in Canada and the USA – because of the complete incompetence of the BDA “Judicial System” and the completely botched investigation by the BPS!!

    Eventually this “film crew” will get their permits and the *TRUTH* will be revealed one-way-or-the-other!!!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Didja miss the part where “…they weren’t refused work permits, they actually didn’t apply for them”? How is this “Fahy… playing-for-time”?

      Also… what’s so bad about trying to control bad publicity about our island?

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        The *Truth* will set you free – besides EVERYONE has a right to know what really happened in this case – that is why a “Film Crew” is here, so many years later in the first place – people want the damn truth!!! What are you afraid of Mike Hind???

        Sounds like a serious case of being afraid to “air-your-dirty-laundry” in public!!!

        • Mike Hind says:

          Says the guy hiding behind a fake name.
          My laundry is out there for the world to see, thank you very much.

          It’s interesting that you seem to be ignoring the point where… you know… “…they weren’t refused work permits, they actually didn’t apply for them”


          You know what? I’ve already asked this and you’ve ignored it.
          Why bother trying to have a conversation with you?

          • MAKE MY DAY says:

            Don’t forget you are dealing with a Somerset Bermudian from the 50/60′s – and I’m “betting” before you came on the scene!! You are a “REAL” onion aren’t you?? – NOT one of those “imports”!!!

            STOP the *spinning* on your answers – as I have had enough of that BS in the USA from *Professional Spinners* – way above your pay-grade!!!

            PS: I NEVER hide behind ANYTHING in Arizona – or BDA!! I’m available at gombey100@yahoo.com or gombey100@gmail.com…Go ahead –

            Take your best NO BS shot!!!

          • MAKE MY DAY says:

            Don’t forget you are dealing with a Somerset Bermudian from the 50/60′s – and I’m “betting” before you came on the scene!! You are a “REAL” onion aren’t you?? – NOT one of those “imports”!!!

            STOP the *spinning* on your answers – as I have had enough of that BS in the USA from *Professional Spinners* – way above your pay-grade!!!

            PS: I NEVER hide behind ANYTHING in Arizona – or BDA!! I’m available at gombey100@yahoo.com or gombey100@gmail.com…. Go ahead – Make My Day!! You never know who Clint works with!!

            Take your best NO BS shot!!!

            • Mike Hind says:


              I’m not sure where I’m “BS”ing… but I AM sure that you are.
              This is nonsensical blathering. Nothing to do with what I said.

              Why are you ignoring the whole “They didn’t apply for work permits” thing… in favour of bizarre accusations and weird… whatever this is.

              If you’re not even going to try to make sense, why post?

  10. A. Smith says:

    They are just concerned that Bermuda will receive more bad press about this incident. The Canadian film crew should have been given the right to film. It was a terrible incident and persons involved are walking free therefore it should be brought back to light.

  11. spilt milk says:

    Dn forget it was a yardmon done d crime c..

  12. Legal Eagle says:

    The bungled handling of the Middleton case by the BPS,then AG +Judiciary is now Further Bungled by lawyer politian Fahy! Asserting work permits were required because this is a ‘documentary’ as distinct from ‘fact reporting’ is simply the usual lawyer/politician’s double speak ‘distinction without a difference’! A ‘documentary ‘IS’ ‘fact reporting’Fahy! You must think we are ALL too stupid to understand that?? Go ahead-keep screwing them around with Bureaucratic trickery! Internationally the Documentary title: “Bermuda’s Dirty Little Secret:The Cover up Continues”-thanks to you Fahy! On a local level, it’s a shame to see your former credibility fall into the same political cesspit as your other colleagues -on both sides of the floor!

  13. JONESER says:

    I just don’t understand why the family would even want to relive this all over again. I truly feel for the whole family, however, I just have a bad taste in my mouth about this situation period.

  14. Silence Do Good says:

    Has anyone seen Murder in Paradise?

    Do you think they will show Bermuda or Bermudians in any type of positive light? I agree it was a terrible crime with terrible results for our justice system. I feel for the family on this one. Many countries even Canada have many more examples of travesties of justice.

    Is this what we need right now going out again and again and again about Bermuda? Will the film crew show the countless kids walking safely around Hamilton in the afternoon after school going to meet their parents? Will they show the beauty of Bermuda as still a relatively safe place compared with other locations? Watch a few episodes of the show and tell me how will Bermuda look in the end?

  15. Cow Polly says:

    The sensible thing here would be to allow the firm to film here (with workpermits if that is what is required) and ask them to allow a spokesman from Bermuda to speak at the end to apologise to the family and Canada for the bungled case and explain the changes that have been implemented to ensure that this will never happen again……….

  16. The bottom line….this crew endeavor to profit…to make money from misery….their full intention is to call it documen…and sell advertising time slots around it thereby making oodles of money…you know how these northern lot are…these clowns are selling pictures of my grandfathers invention up in Canada…they would be well advised they are patent pendings…not ordinary patents…..renumeration for damages methinks!

  17. Where are my mineral rights?….

  18. BdaproducersNetwork says:

    This is not about Rebecca Middleton or any government cover-up. The same thing has happened to many foreign production companies before but it never made the news because none of those film crews were involved in high profile cases and the production companies involved never went to the press to whine about it and make accusations. Moongate productions are run by two photographers who are very talented but also very young and have no experience working with foreign crews and don’t know the different categories that Immigration designates film work in Bermuda. If you are coming to Bermuda as a journalist you can go through the Department of Tourism and get permission to come to Bermuda with a crew to gather information on a current event. If you are coming to Bermuda as a travel journalist you can go through the Department of Tourism and get permission to come with your crew as well since it’s promoting Bermuda. If you are doing anything…anything else as a foreign film crew you have to get work permits. Why? Not because of some alleged cover up, but because Bermuda has experienced and competent video and film production people already on the island. You can’t have foreign film crews just walking in and doing work here rather than hiring Bermudians. You can’t do that in any other industry. Even if the final product is ending up overseas – part of the manufacturing of that product (the TV show) is being done locally. I’m not saying that it should be a local company fully running this production. Cineflix owns the show, they run it. However, Immigration has the right to scrutinize the crew they are bringing and make sure that there are no Bermudian’s on the island who could be hired to do a similar job. Obviously the director and DOP of this TV show would be jobs that a Bermudian could not fill because they don’t know the format of the show. But if they are flying in sound crew, grips and production assistants just to pack and carry equipment, we have experienced people on the island already here who can do these things and Immigration knows this. If Cineflix had gone to a more experienced Bermudian production company, the necessary work permits would have been applied for right away. Cineflix might have gone to Moongate, knowing their inexperience and hoped they could get in under the radar through Tourism and fly in their own Canadian crew without using any locals (other than actors). Tourism knew this as well, hence the “welcome” letter to Immigration. That letter should have been clearer because it basically meant, “welcome to Bermuda” (tourism’s mandate), “now here are the people (Immigration) you need to talk to about coming here to work” (Immigration’s mandate).

    This is not a trash foreign workers rant either but as a tiny country with a tiny economy we should have the right to scrutinize who comes here to work and who doesn’t, especially with so many Bermudian’s out of work. If the reverse where happening, a Bermudian crew would totally need work permits to film in Canada – the only difference is that Canada is so big that a Bermudian crew could probably walk in as tourist and just go film without anyone noticing. But if the Canadian film industry found out about a foreign crew coming into the country to work and they didn’t hire any Canadians or have permission, trust me, they’d be calling Canadian Immigration in a heart beat. It’s easy to cry foul when you don’t see the bigger picture but the same policies apply to all countries to protect their local workers. I know Bermudians who are filming in the US and they most definitely have work permits.

    This is not about Rebecca Middleton and it hurts her memory by dragging her into it. The real fault is the inexperience of Moongate productions. Those guys are talented but next time they need to do their homework before they agree to host a foreign crew. The guys doing Ocean Vet have work permits.