A 25-year-old Carrot Bay man who claimed he harboured his undocumented girlfriend in the BVI because of love was fined $500 in the Magistrate’s Court.
The offender, Travis ‘Bumpy’ Osborne, was ordered to pay the fine by October 12 or spend 30 days at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
During his arraignment on Thursday, the court heard that his girlfriend is 20-year-old La’Lique Lockhart of St Croix, US Virgin Islands. It is said that Lockhart had accompanied Osborne to the territory via a private boat from the US territory without getting the necessary Immigration clearance.
She remained in the territory without permission or a passport for at least three months without the knowledge of the authorities, the court heard.
Acting on a tip, local law enforcement visited Osborne’s residence on July 31 and requested for everyone at the home to present identification. Lockhart was the only one unable to provide her identification and she confessed that she was, in fact, illegal in the territory.
She was then arrested and charged for illegal entry and fined $650 which was paid forthwith. She was then deported.
Osborne was subsequently charged with the offence of harbouring and was arrested.
“I was acting entirely out of love … I am aware I made a serious mistake,” he told the court.
His attorney Patricia Archibald-Bowers who mitigated on his behalf said during the time of the offence, Osborne clearly was not thinking of the repercussions of his actions and begged the court for mercy.
In handing down judgement in the matter, Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin noted that Osborne seemed remorseful for his actions and that he is a young man with promise.
Osborne is a student of a Florida-based university and committed the offence while on summer break in the territory.
The full-time scholarship recipient is undergoing studies in construction engineering.
He also allegedly committed other offences such as inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and burglary.
He is currently on remand for the offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.
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