BVI News


Robbers sentenced -Contractor had sleepless nights

Shaqkil Roberts (left) and Shamori Richardson elude the camera lenses while being escorted from court to prison

Two natives of the neighbouring US Virgin Islands have been sentenced respectively to three years, and three-and-half years in prison for robbing a contractor at gunpoint last year on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Shaqkil Roberts and Shamori Richardson were sentenced after they pleaded guilty when they appeared before Justice Nicola Byer this month.

The judge said she slapped 23-year-old Roberts with a higher sentence because, unlike Richardson, he did not accept guilt at the ‘earliest available opportunity’.

The court heard that, before Richardson appeared before the judge, he wrote to the court and expressed remorse as well as a willingness to confess. He was still in police custody at the time.


Meanwhile, in making her submissions to the court, Principal Crown Counsel Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit described the crime as a street robbery.

“While it is less sophisticated, there was some amount of planning in the matter,” she said, adding that the complainant in the matter suffered psychological trauma after the crime.

According to the victim impact statement, which was read in court, the complainant said: “I had a long spell of nightmares and sleepless nights… It was hard for me; real terrifying.”

The court was asked to take those issues into consideration when sentencing the offenders.

The prosecution stated that, on June 16 last year, the complainant, who is a contractor, went to work at a construction site at Gene Hill, Tortola.

He was doing paperwork in his vehicle about 1:45pm, when the gunmen pounced upon him.

“Gimme your money,” the masked assailant demanded.

The complainant then handed over $509 to the gunman who responded: “The money you have to pay these guys, give it to me.”

The gunman then searched a section of the vehicle. While he was searching, an apparently older gunman appeared near the car.

The older gunman entered the vehicle at the back passenger side, and searched for cash before he and his accomplice fled the scene.

The matter was reported to the Royal Virgin Islands Police.

Investigators eventually arrested and charged Richardson, who was 28 years old at the time. Roberts was arrested and charged later.

Richardson was represented by attorney-at-law Valerie Stephens-Gordon, while Roberts was represented by Stephen Daniels.

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  1. *** says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

    3 and a half years for robbing someone gunpoint? So realistically with so called ‘good’ behavior they will be out in just over a year? Wow.

    • Judge says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

      This is my problem with the system . They say so many years if found with a gun .

      These MS did an ARMED robbery and you tellin me 3 years . I have a problem with the system and those who are in control

    • Markus says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      Now we know why gun crimes are so rampant….

  2. lmao says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    They will be out in time to vote against MAPP

  3. Jokes says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    This is ridiculous. Not only is the sentence light but how did these guys from the USVI know where, whom and when to rob. This must have been a set up and they havent spilled the beans on who it was. 10 years hard labour i say!

  4. Reply says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Is the magistrate following the law? The Legislature imposed stiffer fines for a reason. Why are they being ignored Magistrate Byer? These magistrates should be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Disgusting.

  5. Observer says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    Nothing like long enough. People holding guns on others should serve a ten year minimum. What message does this light sentence send.

  6. devon says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Three and a half years for armed robbery ?
    The judge should be charged with a crime for that sentence !

  7. Cgb says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Yet the judge what’s to send you to hell and back for a lil bit of marijuana!! TORTOLA FO YO!!

  8. Eagle eye says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Start taking their pics as the police do in St thomas

  9. The Real Judge says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    This is one of the reasons we can’t stop crime because those in the judicial system are not giving sentences as a deterrent. A man use his gun to rob another person and only get three and a half years. The man should have gotten nothing less than ten years.

    How do we intend to save this little nation from crime if those in authority don’t help. The detectives went out and their work and was able to get a conviction but the judge playing soft ball. These aren’t not case to play soft ball with.

    We have to protect our country better. This is foolishness. We always crying down the police. When they do their work give all of satisfaction man. We need Red Head to help us.

  10. Local says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Gola full of young punks who just want to rob…

  11. Mandatory Sentencing says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    We need mandatory sentencing, not just a minimum and maximum sentences. This way the judge is obliged to follow the law.

  12. hmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    i bet if it was related to weed, the sentences would have been 5yrs or more

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