Trust says it tried to phone Trowbridge family
Wiltshire Probation Trust said it has sympathy with the family of Hayley Richards, but it can only inform the families of victims about the deportation of an offender when it is confirmed.
The trust said that it was initially told about the possibility of Hugo Quintas being deported in February, but it was not confirmed that he would be sent back to Portugal until April 14, the day he was deported.
The trust said the victim liaison officer attempted to call Hayley’s brother Paul Richards after receiving the confirmation, but was unable to get through. The letter was sent that same day to Mr Richards.
Riana Taylor, director of operations at Wiltshire Probation Trust, said: “We have a lot of sympathy with the victims of crime like this, but unfortunately, it is out of our hands and victims don’t have a say in deportation process.
“I can understand why the family are upset, but this is how the deportation regulations work. We don’t get in touch with the family before deportation as we are told to write at the last minute.
“We were initially told that he could be deported on February 11, but then we were told that it may not happen. It was then confirmed he was going to be deported on April 14 and that’s when we tried to phone.
“Deportation can take a long time to happen and it is a process that can cause more agony for the family, but when it happens it happens immediately and Hugo Quintas was deported on the afternoon of April 14.”
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said it was not appropriatd to comment on the specifics of the case as he was not fully aware of all the details.
He added: “In general, this matter raises concerns for me around expectations given to victims and their families at the point of sentencing in court.
“Victims and their families will have come to terms with a sentence given to an offender and to change that can have a major impact on them. I would like to see this impact on victims and their families taken into consideration when making decisions like this by the criminal justice system.
“A major part of my role is to commission services for victims and I believe PCCs also have an advocacy role with other agencies, especially with the knowledge we gain through initiatives such as the Victims’ Voice and Victims Forum.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “It is this Government’s view that foreign nationals who come to the United Kingdom and commit crimes should serve their sentences in their own countries and be barred from returning to the UK.”
Hayley Richards murder: timeline.
* June 5, 2005: Police receive a 999 call from Hayley Richards alleging Hugo Quintas has assaulted her.
* June 11, 2005: Police sent to Carders Corner after Miss Richards fails to arrive at work and discover her body. Quintas leaves the country from Bristol airport on a flight to Portugal.
* June 12, 2005: Police confirm an assault took place a week before Miss Richards was killed and that an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation had been launched.
* June 21, 2005: Quintas is arrested by two traffic officers from the Basque Region of Spain. He does not challenge the extradition process.
* June 29, 2005: He is flown back to the UK and charged with murder.
* March 13, 2006: The trial of Quintas begins at Bristol Crown Court and takes just over two weeks.
* March 29, 2006: Quintas is found guilty. He is jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.
* May 5, 2006: Wiltshire Police issue full apology to the Richards family, after accepting investigation into Hayley’s assault complaints was below standard.
* December 4, 2007: The Richards family agree to financial settlement instead of taking Wiltshire Police to court after they failed to arrest Quintas when she reported an assault.
* May 2010: Family members attend Life for Life rally held by Families Fighting for Justice in London to protest the fact that Quintas was not given whole life sentence.
* April 14, 2014: Quintas is deported back to Portugal to serve rest of his sentence. The Richards family are informed by a letter sent the same day.