(CMR) Cayman Marl Road has exclusive information that disgraced track coach, Ato Stephens, has left the jurisdiction as of this morning just four days after Cabinet issued a deportation order.
Stephens was recently ordered to leave the jurisdiction by way of a deportation order by Cabinet issued last week Wednesday. The order called for Ato Mobido Stephens to be deported on 16 March 2018 or as soon thereafter as can be arranged by the Department of Immigration.
The move came after immense public outcry and questioning as to why Stephens; who was released after serving his short prison sentence late last year was still on the island despite a judge recommending he be deported. Despite early reports from the Cabinet office that Cabinet had decided to take no action on the matter they eventually decided to issue the deportation order. The Opposition issued a statement indicating its support for his immediate deportation in early February calling on Cabinet to give the matter “urgent consideration.”
The order would have then been signed off by Mr. Franz Manderson, Acting Governor – but government officials have not yet released the date that this was done.
The public outcry has been significant after Stephens decided to issue the Cayman Islands Track Association (CIAA) with a warning letter threatening legal action if his membership was not reinstated. Ironically, he omitted to include his wife the association's secretary on the group email in which he claims to have been unlawfully removed as a member. One member, who wishes to remain anonymous stated that:
“It's truly amazing that a coach could commit such grave trust offenses and expect that he would be welcomed back into the association to be around people's children. I have no idea why he felt so brazen about his status in the Cayman Islands by making such demands. Clearly no one wanted to work with him again or trusted him around their children.”
Despite being acquitted on the majority of the charges against him the judge felt that his actions were despicable and did not hesitate to say so during his sentencing. Justice Wood pointed out that there were over 64 phone calls placed by Stephens to the 14-year old female athlete as well as countless WhatsApp messages.
He was convicted of a single count of misuse of ICT. When asked by the judge why he was messaging the young girl and asking for both pictures and sexual favors he said he did not know. He also read out various portions of the testimony including the defendant's comments about “date nights” and “riding his d***” whilst messaging the victim. Justice Wood remarked that his explanations were “insulting” and “unbelievable”.
Despite receiving an 18-month sentence he only served a few months after he was given concessions for time served whilst awaiting extradition and being in custody awaiting his trial. Apparently, the conditional release board had stated he was to remain on the island for the remainder of his sentence until some date in February 2019. After his release, CMR sources indicate that he was living in Savannah with his wife and two children – within walking distance of the local primary school.
Last week CMR had received information that his wife, local national hero and track star, Cydonie Mothersill, was no longer supportive of him remaining in the Cayman Islands after finally deciding that the marriage had finally broken down irretrievably. There had also been considerable commentary on why she would support him remaining in the Cayman Islands. One lawyer stated:
“The thought that they might have a legal argument to make against deportation is certainly weakened by the fact that both of them have rights of abode in several other jurisdictions. He has citizen in two other countries and none here. She likewise, as his spouse would enjoy those same rights as well.”
Stephens has left the Cayman Islands for the United States where he has citizenship. He is also already from Trinidad which he represented in track and field but was disgraced there also because of doping allegations.
UPDATE: March 12
From Office of Premier: Ato Modibo Stephens left the Cayman Islands on Sunday 11 March 2018, traveling to Miami in the United States. Stephens is now a prohibited immigrant to the Cayman Islands. Under Section 82(h) of the Immigration Law, a prohibited immigrant is “a person who, not having received a free pardon, has been convicted in any country of an offense for which a sentence of imprisonment of or exceeding 12 months has been passed otherwise than for non-payment of a fine”.