Briton charged with breaking Uganda's anti-gay laws after intimate images of him appeared in a newspaper is to be deported to the UK

Magistrate orders that the charges be dropped and that the former computer analyst be deported from the east African country on the basis that his visa has expired

KAMPALA

Bernard Randall, the British man facing a trial in Uganda for possessing a gay sex video, is to deported back to the UK immediately after all charges against him were dropped.

The 65-year-old, originally from Faversham in Kent, had been facing a possible two-year prison sentence after being charged with “trafficking obscene publications”.

Today, magistrate Hellen Ajio ordered that the charges – which Randall strongly denied – be dropped and that the former computer analyst be deported from the east African country within 12 hours on the basis that his visa had expired.

Handing down the ruling, she told Randall: “In Uganda we love you, but we don’t love the acts of homosexuals. I’ve told you time and time again that God loves you.”

The decision comes just weeks after Uganda’s parliament passed a draconian anti-gay bill imposing life in prison for people convicted of some homosexual acts.

Nightmare is over for gay Briton Bernard Randall put on trial in Uganda after images of him having sex were stolen by thieves and used against him in 'blackmail plot'  

Randall appeared in Entebbe Magistrates Court with Albert Cheptoyek, 33, a Ugandan national, who still faces a prison sentence of up to seven years if found guilty of “acts of gross indecency”, which he denies. The pair claim that their home was robbed last September and Randall’s laptop, which contained images of him having sex with another man in Morocco, was stolen. The alleged thieves passed the images to Pastor Solomon Moses Male, who leads the country’s anti-homosexuality crusade and gave them to tabloid newspaper Red Pepper.

At one stage during the hearing a prosecutor said the retiree would “continue to corrupt morals” if he stayed in Uganda, causing a visibly upset and shaken Randall to scream: “Lies!”. The prosecution had argued for Randall’s deportation. The defence had requested he be given five days to leave the country.

Uganda passes anti-gay law with maximum sentence of life imprisonment  
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni blocks anti-gay law  

Bernard Randall, interviewed at his home in Entebbe in November, 2013. The 65 years old is likely to be deported on Thursday after he was cleared of charges made under Uganda's anti-gay laws. Bernard Randall, interviewed at his home in Entebbe in November, 2013. The 65 years old is likely to be deported on Thursday after he was cleared of charges made under Uganda's anti-gay laws.
Defence lawyer John Francis Onyango told The Independent he was “happy” the charges had been dropped because there was “no adequate evidence” to charge Mr Randall.

“But we’re concerned about his deportation on the flimsy grounds of non-renewal of his visa,” Onyango said.

“The prosecution know that his passport had been robbed and that he actually reported to the immigration department to renew his visa and his request was actually denied, back in December.”

He said they would not be appealing the ruling because it “won’t serve any meaningful purpose”.

The lawyer added that the case against Cheptoyek was now “extremely weak” as he and Randall were jointly charged.

Speaking after the ruling, Cheptoyek told The Independent that Randall was being deported for reasons which were “not good or fair”.

“I think they’re deporting him because he’s gay,” Cheptoyek said.

When asked how he felt about his own situation he said: “I’m scared. The bill has passed. The government of Uganda don’t want gays.”

A member of the UK High Commission was present in court, but did not comment.

Last week, it was reported that President Yoweri Museveni had blocked the anti-gay Bill, but gay rights activists in Kampala stressed that he hadn’t done so but had only “promised and expressed his concerns” about the legislation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us