Fisheries adviser Mark Brumbill was convicted of drink-driving only three days before leaving St Helena without serving out his contract, it has been confirmed.
St Helena Government reported that “serious threats” had been made against his family when it announced his departure – but made no mention of the court case.
There has since been some anger among island fishermen about the manner of the announcement, which was issued a day after the family sailed for Cape Town on Sunday, 7 July 2013.
No indication has been given of the nature of the alleged threats, or whether they related to current disagreements over fishing, the drinking case, or some other matter.
Trevor Thomas, of the St Helena Fishermen’s Association, expressed his shock at the unexpected departure.
He said: “I personally am very sorry to see Mark’s appointment end in the manner it did.
“I know that he was not ill treated by the fishermen, so where does the allegation of threats emerge from?
“I am intending to write a strong letter to the Governor, and there will be further press statements once I confirm a number of other facts.”
An email from another fisherman said the handling of the announcement could damage St Helena’s reputation.
The following notice has been issued to island media:
St Helena Magistrates’ Court
4 July 2013
MARK BRUMBILL (43) of the Briars, pleaded guilty to driving whilst 50% over the prescribed alcohol limit. Mr Brumbill was fined £470.00 with £15.00 costs and disqualified from driving for the period of 12 months.