St Helena Online

Legal

Judge goes public on adoption case accusations that led to investigation of social workers

An investigation into social workers on St Helena was triggered when their own lawyer found damaging emails that had not been disclosed in a court case, it has emerged.

But the background to the police inquiry has been revealed only AFTER it was announced that no criminal case would be brought against them, because of lack of evidence.

Judge Charles Ekins also revealed how the intervention of the governor’s wife, Tamara Capes, could have created an impression of an establishment conspiracy against a Saint who wanted to adopt a baby on the island.

In the fall-out from the affair, the island lost two senior social workers and its attorney general, Frank Wastell, was suspended – although he had already decided to leave his job.

The chain of events has come to light after Judge Ekins, St Helena’s Chief Justice, decided to publish an edited version of his judgement in a hearing about the care of a baby – 13 months after it ended.

In it he revealed that the lawyers in the case asked him to convene the court on a Sunday to hear about the discovery of emails that they said should have been offered as evidence.

They asked the judge to make an order prohibiting the senior social worker Claire  Gannon from communicating with anyone within St Helena Government, or with a couple who were looking after the baby in England.

He was also asked to make an order “preserving the integrity of all e-mail accounts” held by Ms Gannon and her colleagues Martin Warsama and Claire Yon.

It is understood that island police seized their computers shortly afterwards.

The reason for Mr Wastell’s suspension remains a mystery: the judge clearly said his brief involvement in the case was “unwise, but no more”.

The case involved an application by St Helena Government – “the Applicant” – for a care order on a baby known as R, whose mother could not care for her.

Normally the details of an family hearing would remain secret. No reason has been given for going public – a highly unusual step on St Helena.

But the case became controversial after the island’s new Attorney General, Nicola Moore, issued a statement about the investigation. It contained criticisms of the people investigated, without giving the evidence to justify them.

One of the social workers, Martin Warsama, then alleged that he and a colleague, Claire Gannon, were being “punished” for making complaints about police and government handling of sex abuse on St Helena, leading to a separate investigation by Sasha Wass QC.

He also told St Helena Online it was “frightening” to have his computer seized by the police after he had made allegations against them, because they would have access to his emails.

He and Ms Gannon were told by a judge that they could not bring a claim of constructive dismissal in London, but they have since been given leave to appeal.

The hearings on St Helena and Ascension involved a mother who was deemed to be unable to look after her new baby, partly because of the bullying and mistreatment she had suffered during a “miserable” childhood in England.

Three other children had been taken away from her.

She and their father, a Saint, moved to St Helena, where they married but later split up – by which time, she was pregnant with R.

Judge Ekins said Claire Gannon rightly decided the baby should be placed with foster carers. None could be found, so Frank Wastell and his wife agreed to take her in when she was ten days old. The mother was allowed to visit and care for her daughter.

Because of his personal involvement, Mr Wastell took no legal part in the case. He was the island’s Solicitor General at that point.

Another couple agreed to look after the baby, but made it clear they would want her to become part of their family when they returned to England.

Members of the child’s own wider family did not want to take her in. The father agreed he could not look after her.

Preparations to make a care order for the girl’s protection were well advanced when a relative arrived on St Helena and learned of his neice’s birth; after a few weeks, he offered to take care of her with his partner on the Falklands.

But the court heard social workers felt it was too late: an interim care order was already in place and the girl had already bonded with “Mr and Mrs Y”. In fact, the judge later ruled that “his potential suitability was dismissed in an overly peremptory fashion”.

At a hearing on St Helena in October 2013, Judge Ekins agreed to consider the uncle’s request to become R’s special guardian as part of the proceedings.

When the hearings resumed on Ascension Island in March 2014, the judge heard that the uncle and his partner were considered suitable carers for the baby, had prepared their home for her arrival, and understood her needs. A social worker had flown from the UK to the Falklands to assess them.

He ruled in their favour, despite the risk that the child would suffer as a result of being taken away from Mr and Mrs Y.

He cited strong guidance that children should be kept within their family and their culture, and adoption outside the family should be a last resort.

“There can be nothing but sympathy for Mr and Mrs Y who are the real victims of this whole proceeding,” the judge said.

They had hoped to offer the child an open adoption, meaning she would maintain contact with her family and culture.

But the judge said emails sent to Claire Gannon by the couple in England showed hostility  to members of the baby’s family – suggesting contact would be limited.

SHG’s lawyer, Ms Cheetham, had the emails in her possession but believed they could not be presented in court because they were “privileged”. When she realised she was mistaken, she shared them with other lawyers in the case and they all asked the judge to convene the Sunday hearing.

The judge said the emails should have been presented as part of the case by the government’s social care department.

He said: “Regrettably I am driven to the conclusion that the Applicant has obstructed and misled the Court in its judicial process of determining the best interests of R.

“I am not prepared to say unequivocally that the obstruction has been wilful… but it is unparalleled in my experience that all advocates in this case, including the Applicant’s own Counsel, felt it necessary to invite me to issue an injunction against the senior social worker with responsibility for this case.”

He said he suspected some case files had been withheld.

He also accused the government’s social care team of deliberate lack of objectivity. “They felt duty bound to do all they could to ensure that R remained with Mr and Mrs Y irrespective of R’s best interest.”

He concluded by recommending that an experienced, independent lawyer should review the papers in the case “to advise on whether the evidence is such as to disclose reasonable grounds for suspecting the commission by any member of the Applicant’s staff of any criminal offence pertinent to attempting to pervert the course of justice or perjury.”

Claire Gannon has chosen not to speak to island media about the affair. But Mr Warsama strongly pointed out that the subsequent investigation by Merseyside Police found there was no case for a criminal prosecution.

He would be raising the matter with Sasha Wass QC, the counsel investigating the unrelated allegations about sex abuse.

He said: “We’ve had an investigation and it proved we had done nothing wrong. What needs to be in there is our response. But I’m not responding until I have seen Sasha Wass. We will be vindicated.

“All is not what it seems.”

UK hospital agrees to operate on severely disabled Saint girl – but only after judge denounces three others that refused

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, by Steve Daniels. Published under Creative Commons licence - click the pic to learn more
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, by Steve Daniels. Used under Creative Commons licence: click the pic to learn more

A Saint teenager with “catastrophic” disabilities is to be given a desperately-needed operation in the UK – but only after three National Health Service trusts REFUSED to treat her.

St Helena’s chief justice, Judge Charles Ekins, said it was “shameful” that three hospitals apparently could not afford to take her, even though she was entitled to NHS treatment.

The 19-year-old girl, who can be referred to only as K, has severe deformities in her arms, “useless” lower limbs, and severe spasticity – among other conditions. Her profound learning difficulties mean she can barely communicate.

She was due to sail for Ascension Island on 21 April 2015 to meet a dedicated medical flight, but the judge said it would too dangerous to send her with no hospital prepared to receive her.

Only after she had missed the boat was a place found for her at the world-leading Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, part of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust. The centre has a reputation for taking difficult and expensive cases from outside its own area.

She must now wait until 11 May 2015 to leave the island – where she could not safely have the operation she needs to amputate parts of her legs and ease her enduring pain.

K was discovered by Paul Bridgewater, a newly-arrived social worker, living in Barn View in Longwood, a “care home” used mainly for elderly people.

Mr Bridgewater had her moved to hospital but she was moved back to Barn View, only to be re-admitted – malnourished and suffering a serious ring worm infection.

Her condition is so severe she has to be kept lying down.

The island’s Supreme Court has been given responsibility for taking decisions about K’s care now that her mother is ageing.

A solicitor in England, Michael Trueman, has been appointed to act on her behalf. It was through his efforts, and the commitment of a consultant surgeon at the hospital, Mr Tim Theologis, that a solution was found.

K’s operation was recumbent by a visiting surgeon on St Helena, Sergio Villatoro Bran. He advised removing both her legs from above the knees – bilateral supracondylar amputation.

The hope is that it will make her more comfortable and reduce the risk of a fatal infection.

Judge Ekins pointed out that a protocol with Britain allows four St Helenians to be treated by the NHS each year. He made a point of saying that K is a British citizen – interpreted by some as a way to interest UK media in her case.

In a judgement issued on 23 April, he said: “Three NHS consultants had been approached by the date of the RMS St Helena’s departure.

“None would undertake to admit K. A response is still awaited from the last enquiries made.

“The risk to K of embarking up upon a passage to the UK without a hospital to receive her is unacceptable.

“I cannot think that the decision to refuse to admit K to the trusts approach is a clinical one… it seems to me to be likely therefore that the decision in each case is resource based.

“If that is indeed the case then the situation is a shameful one.”

He said the urgency of the case meant he would have to send her to South Africa if treatment is available there – “a much less preferable option in terms of K’s welfare.”

The High Court in England would take over responsibility for her in the UK. It is not clear what legal arrangements could be made in a foreign country.

K’s mother has been praised by the judge for trying to ease her daughter’s suffering, but he said she was “getting on in years” and there were concerns about her ability to take decisions about her daughter’s needs.

Judge Ekins said she had “been active over the years in doing her best to provide K with such suplementary comfort as she has been capable of.”

In 2012, Barn View, conditions at Barn View were severely criticised in a report by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Most of the report – on alleged abuse on the island – was kept secret, but a draft version was leaked.

It said a 16-year-old girl – thought to be K – was sharing a room with a dying elderly woman at the home.

Allegations of a cover-up of abuse, and the governance of the island, are now being investigated by Sasha Wass QC. She is understood to have asked for information about Barn View.

Judge Ekins included politicians in his criticism of K’s rejection by the NHS.

He said: “For some time now it has been claimed that the UK’s economy ranks amongst the wealthiest in the world. It is boasted that the UK’s economy ranks comfortably amongst the largest ten economies in the world.

“Political parties of every hue claim that the UK NHS is or will be safe in their hands.

“The two former make it even more shameful that it is apparently difficult, if not impossible, to afford treatment to a young British citizen with such catastrophic disabilities who is entitled to be treated by the NHS in the UK.

“The latter of the claims referred to frankly rings entirely hollow.”

Judge praises Ken Baddon for ‘astute and helpful’ service

Ken Baddon has been praised for maintaining the “highest traditions” of the legal profession during his long service as St Helena’s Attorney General.

Chief Justice Charles Ekins paid tribute to him in his absence at the opening of the St Helena Supreme Court on 31 October 2013.

“I am aware that it may be that Mr Baddon will retire during the first half of next year,” said the judge.

“Mr Baddon has been the Attorney General of St Helena for very many years. Over those years he has frequently assisted this court.

“His assistance has invariably been astute and helpful. In the highest traditions of the profession, the manner in which he has sought to assist this court has been fair and always without hyperbole.

“He has been invariably courteous, not only to the court but so far as I could tell to colleagues both professional and lay. I think I can fairly speak on behalf of the judicial section in its entirety in wishing Mr Baddon a very happy and fulfilled retirement.”

  • Saint FM Community Radio was in court to record the words of the Chief Justice, on the very day that television cameras were allowed to record court proceedings in England for the first time in history, at a hearing of the Supreme Court in London.  

St Helena votes NO in chief councillor poll

On Saturday 23 March 2013, a Poll was held on St Helena, on the question of a Chief Councillor, raised in the recent discussion paper ‘Improving Democracy and Accountability’ To the Question: Should St Helena have a Chief Councillor who can select the Executive Council?

The results were as follows:

  • YES – 42 votes
  • NO – 168 votes

The idea was put out to a public vote after members of Legislative Council said they had to be guided by concerns raised at meetings across the island.

Read more on the St Helena Government website.

Experts, expats and what England expects: a governor’s view, part 2

Andrew Gurr, immediate past governor of St Helena, has been sharing his insights from his recent four-year stint behind the big desk in The Castle in Jamestown. See part one of his talk to the Friends of St Helena here. In part two, below, he talks about attitudes to expats, experts, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and about his favourite adviser.

On Eddie Palmer of DFID

Probably the most valuable meeting of the week is the tele conference with London. That is a weekly hook-up for the governor and Eddie and Ernie. Ernie was the head of my governor’s office, a Foreign Office employee, and Eddie was the DFID representative on the island.

Eddie was my favourite adviser for all sorts of reasons (at this point, Mr Gurr broke off to general laughter and said to his wife in the audience: “Well, Jean, you are my favourite adviser, I hasten to add.”).

Eddie filled a big gap because DFID provided the money and Eddie understanding what was going on and influencing what was going on and being consulted on decisions was absolutely essential.

The need for a man in that role, or a woman, who is a shrewd political operator and understands the culture, is absolutely paramount. It will be a sad day for the island when Eddie finishes his long term, probably later this year.

So we had the three of us sitting round the phone on the island, and back in London you had both the Foreign Office and DFID people responsible, probably three or four of them.

When DfID was just across the park that was easy. they did it by week, one walked to one office and the other walked to the other one. Now the DFID overseas territory bit is right up in Scotland and they can’t do that and you have a very difficult three-way telephone link that doesn’t always work.

That was a vital weekly communication that I found extremely useful.

On FCO types

I was fortunate, I think, not to be an FCO person, for all sorts of reasons. I was recruited from outside. I was told no other governor had been recruited anywhere in that way. They had been appointed from outside but not through open competitive recruitment.

One finds with people who are in an organisation a long time, their loyalty is primarily to that organisation. I was able, I hope, to be loyal to the island every bit as much as I wouldbe loyal to my employer. Spanning that divide is quite important.

There is a conflict of interest, I think one has to admit it, between HMG [the UK government] and the island. The conflict is that HMG’s job is to fulfil international obligations at a minimal cost to the UK government, whereas the island wants to improve quality of life and maintain its culture, and those two things are not totally compatible. And all the time, the governor is spanning that conflict.

On FCO versus DFID

The other conflict is FCO and DFID. They are different types of people.

Generally speaking you join the Foreign Office because you want to see the world. If you speak to youngsters who are lining up in corridors for interview, that is generally what they want to do.

People join DFID because they want to help alleviate starvation in Africa. You get a different motivation in the staff. It’s a general rule and it doesn’t apply to everybody, but as a generality I think it’s a fair comment.

That translates itself into, let’s say, the talkers and the doers – you can see the difference – or the compromisers and the decision makers.

On bureaucracy

In my first year I was really taken aback by the fact that I was asked do my objectives. So I did my objectives and handed them in.

I think the Foreign Office were the first to send me a request for objectives. I sent the same set of objectives to DFID.

They said, ‘You can’t send us this, these are your Foreign Office objectives. I said ‘Yes, but I’m not going to change my objectives.’ And they said, ‘Never mind that, you have to do them in our format, in our way with our back-up papers.’

“This is ridiculous. Nobody should have two sets of objectives. That kind of thing does create a problem.”

On finance

There was quite a problem with the bank. Nobody owned the bank. When we came to look at the details of the bank and how we were going to run it, there were no shares that anybody owned. As a legal entity it has no ownership and the default is the government because the government would be lender of last resort.

We had to set up a structure whereby there was a proper form of ownership. It cleared up all sorts of problems which needn’t have existed.

On expats

Another problem is the Saints versus the expats. Or translated in the Falklands, the Falkland Islander against expats. The view of an expat from your average Saint of Falkland Islander is the three Ms: missionaries, mercenarys and misfits. I have to admit there’s something in that.

With all the conflicts you come across, this island against expert knowledge is always going to be there. Sometimes the islander is right and sometimes the expat is right, and it’s awfully difficult to make a judgment on that.

There is a wary envy of the expat. It’s entirely understandable.

On experts

Consultants and experts: you can get brilliant ones, and many of them are brilliant and  you can get one not so brilliant. It’s quite wrong of Saints to criticise all of them, which does happen, and it’s equally wrong to praise all of them. It has to be looked at against what they deliver.

There’s also a problem with the single consultant, because DFID has experts in each area – education, health, public works. One expert. So one expert comes to the island and writes a report that becomes DFID’s policy; that becomes absolutely the bible as far as DFID is concerned.

Imagine getting one economist to advise you on what’s happening to the Eurozone. Very often problems are like that. And that one expert can be wrong.

I would rather get people disagreeing in a room before one has to make a decision, rather than a single person giving a view. I think that is a big weakness of the present system.

On experts with doctorates

[Experts with doctorates – PhDs] are the most difficult people on Earth of work with.

We didn’t know what they didn’t know. They didn’t know what they did know, so they assumed other people knew what they knew and they couldn’t relate. Whereas the problem with islanders was that they didn’t know what they didn’t know, so they thought what they knew was what needed to be known, but there was other knowledge out there that didn’t need to be known. It was the reverse with the PhDs.

On the environment

Another area of tension is environment against development. How are you going to balance the genuine economic growth that is needed, against the wirebird, and against other invertebrates and goodness-knows-what that might be threatened?

I have been out there on Prosperous Bay Plain, in fact I was out there with the head of the Overseas Territories Department in the FCO when he visited, looking at the spiders in the dark and seeing this amazing display as their eyes light up as you shine a torch on them.

It’s fantastic and I wouldn’t want that to be damaged for anything, but compared with £20 million plus every year going out of the UK’s pocket to finance the island that’s got no chance of development without an airport, it’s got to be a no-contest.

This business of environment against development really does need a fair balance and a lot of work has been done by Shelco [the promoter of Wirebird Hills eco resort] on that.

On Shelco and the airport

During my time we made some important changes. The change process started. The fight for the airport; a very long, hard fight. Many of you [the Friends of St Helena] played a vital role in that here, and it was very important because the fight really was here for a long time.

Keeping Shelco interested: now they are interested, but there were several times when they nearly lost interest and one had to really cajole them to come back on board with their significant interest.

Part 3 of Andrew Gurrs thoughts on St Helena will appear on this website on Sunday 10 June 2012

SEE ALSO:
The inside story on St Helena, by former governor Andrew Gurr
Planning board backs eco resort – but Governor has final say

The inside story on St Helena, by former governor Andrew Gurr

While cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell was in Swindolena in May 2012, telling Saints about their island’s bright opportunities, Andrew Gurr was just 30 miles away in Oxford, sharing insights from his four years as governor (2007-2011). The two men were speaking at exactly the same time.

A recording of Mr Gurr’s talk has now been passed to St Helena Online, with some parts removed to avoid offending individuals. Here are some of the insights he offered, as he delivered them at the annual meeting of the Friends of St Helena. More will follow in coming days.

On the Foreign Office

It is a fascinating place to visit. I got a bit fed up with it but there’s some interesting rooms there. One of the most fascinating is a small oval room. During most of my time as governor it was the room in which the junior ministers with specific responsibility for British overseas territories had their office. In prior times the whole of India had been run from that room, so quite an amazing place.

On Mrs Gurr

It’s a great privilege being a governor. I must pay tribute to my wife right at the beginning. Being a governor’s wife is, believe me, quite difficult. A governor’s wife does all sorts of interesting things. She feeds another stream of information into one’s reserves of information about the government that you would not otherwise get, and I felt sorry for my predecessor, who wasn’t accompanied by his wife, for that reason. Being a governor’s wife is a full time job, absolutely unpaid.

On the islands

Being governor seems to me to be different, depending on the territory. The whole role changes. We were in the Falklands for five years, where I was chief executive. When the governor was away I acted as governor.  That added up to over 12 months, so I had a rough idea of what being a governor was about.

I believe when I went to St Helena the governor had considerably more power and influence than they had when I left the Falklands. There are a number of reasons for that. Having three islands made life more complicated: three very different islands economically. St Helena was broke financially and needed a lot of help.

Ascension kind of covered its own costs because it was a dignified and souped-up labour camp, because you can’t really live there unless you are working there.

And Tristan da Cunha is absolutely unique. My conclusion, having been there, is that it is probably one of the few truly communist societies in the world that actually works. They really do work for each other and it is part of their whole psyche, and that’s terribly interesting.

Saints dominate St Helena and Ascension too, and increasingly they have a big influence on things in the Falklands, but the Falklands economically dominate the other islands because of the conflict of ’82 and the military and the squid money that flows, up to £30 million a year. And they have just had a very good year in the Falklands.

So there is a lot of inter-relationship between four very different islands, and as governor of three of them one has quite a complicated time.

On power

By power I mean influence, really, and trying to make things happen and indeed having the levers to pull to do that.

My predecessor Mike Clancy had been a chief secretary in a previous existence and I think it led him quite naturally to cover both roles.

There was a kind of vacuum where there wasn’t the duality that you would get, say, in a corporate organisation with a chairman – the governor – and the chief executive as main  operating officer.  That really didn’t exist, so I went into a situation on St Helena where the governor actually just jumped into a power vacuum.

Isolation of course helped that – or didn’t help it, depending on your point of view – but when your boss is 4,000 miles away and can’t get at you for at least three weeks, however he does it, you are on to a winner.

On democracy

I have to say that democracy was less  developed that it had become on the Falklands. The councillors, although they had democratic power, were more reticent to wield it. They had no control of real happenings; not in total, anyway. There was big area of the civil service over which they had very little influence indeed.

On the law

There are quite a few laws that are wildly out of date, and some that are quite different to UK laws and tailored to the island.

The governor is in the unviable position of presiding over a legal system that does not have equality of arms in the court room, and there’s very little one can do about that because there is no private sector solicitor on the island, so who is going to defend those who are being prosecuted by the government?

The answer is the lay advocates, and the lay advocates are trained and managed by the public solicitor. The public solicitor is a government appointment; the public solicitor reports to the governor and so does the Attorney General.

So you have this rather unequal combat in a courtroom with lay people defending, professional QCs [barristers] prosecuting and the governor somehow in the middle if there is a problem with that; but not directly in the middle because a lot of the reporting from the legal side is done informallyand certainly very effectively.

I praise all the public solicitors I dealt with. Neil Davidson and the new one, Debbie, are both tremendous and do a great job with the lay advocates.

(Mr Gurr told St Helena Online: “I would be full of praise for those who acted as lay advocates, but the fact remains that you have a QC prosecuting and an amateur defending, and under anybody’s judgment that is not a fair position. I don’t know how you solve it: you can’t spend money.”

On recruitment

There’s a recruitment problem. The governor is responsible for individual appointments  and sackings – not many – on the civil service.

Imagine trying to recruit doctors and nurses from that distance. Believe me,  interviewing over a jumpy video link is really not a good thing. On meeting them on island, you don’t recognise them at all – they look nothing like they do on the screen.

On the missing population

One of the big problems, thinking about the people in the civil service and the private sector, is a lack of middle managemen;  indeed, the lack of middle, because demographically, half of the population who should be there between the ages of 20 and 40 are somewhere else – they are here [in the UK], on the Falklands, or on Ascension.

Tose are years when you generate wealth, when you breed children and they are mising and that core of the population of St Helena not being there puts it out of balance.

That’s one of the big things about the airport, sucking people back in, to get back to a demographically balanced picture on the island.

On advisory group

When I got [to St Helena] there had been a lot of criticism about a group called the management team, because it was accused of making decisions, which was unconstitutional, so we disbanded it.

A clamour of public opinion was reacted to and I formed what I called the governor’s advisory group, which was more flexible.

On women

One of the things that astonished me… I looked round my advisers and nearly all of them were female, and it really says a great deal about the island and the ability of the ladies to get through the work. They are very competent.

I have to say it, that the men aren’t as competent generally. I hate to say it. I wish they were. There was something of the same on the Falklands – not as much as on St Helena.

It’s partly to do with schooling and culture and all sorts of things but it’s an interesting observation.

(In a separate conversation, Mr Gurr said: “I think it makes a nonsense of the Commonwealth people coming and talking about how we have to help girls. They are in charge.”)

SEE ALSO:
What really swung the airport deal (it’s not what you think)
Facebook page calls for more open government
AUDIO: DfID Secretary on island’s “brilliant opportunity”

LINK:
Friends of St Helena

Campaign starts as smoking age rises to 18 (comment added)

Teenage smokers on St Helena will find their habit becomes illegal in public places from September 2012 – with the risk of a £500 fine if they break the new rules. At the moment, young people can legally smoke from their 16th birthday, but the minimum age will rise to 18.

The law does not put any lower age limit on smoking in private places.

A campaign has now started to help people on the island adjust to new legislation, which will also ban smoking in some buildings, and public transport. A competition to design “smoking kills” posters has been launched in schools.

The island has a significant problem with smoking, which is a cause of diabetes as well as numerous cancers.

The last government report on St Helena’s health service, issued early in 2011, said there were 570 diagnosed diabetics on the island out of a population of around 4,000 people – giving it one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world.

Two brands of cigarettes are among the five top-selling items at Thorpe’s stores, along with Coca Cola – fizzy drinks with high sugar content are also a factor in diabetes. Nick Thorpe says cigarettes are among the first goods to sell out on the island after new deliveries.

Retailers who sell cigarettes to under-18s will face a fine of up to £1,000 once the Tobacco Control Ordinance becomes law.

Anyone found smoking in a smoke-free place may be fined up to £300. Owners of premises or vehicles that are covered by the new law face the same fine for failing to display “no smoking” signs. Owners who fail to stop people from smoking in their smoke free premises may be fined up to £500.

Read more about the smoking campaign from St Helena Government here.

COMMENT:

The UK should follow Saint Helena’s lead. Smoking is horrible! I refuse to date any guy who smokes – it makes you stink!

Amy Du Prez, London
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