BVI News

Cruel father who body slams, chokes son gets suspended sentence

A Sabbath Hill man who pleaded guilty to battering, body slamming, and choking his underaged son into unconsciousness last year has walked from the Magistrate’s Court with a two-month suspended sentence.

The 45-year-old offender’s sentence for cruelty to a child will be suspended for two years, which means he will only spend two months in prison if he commits another offence in the next two years.

His name is being withheld to protect the identity of his abused son.

In handing down his sentence on Monday, Magistrate Shawn Innocent described the incident as a ‘savage act of brutality’ and noted that the aggravating factors clearly outweighed the mitigating ones.

Magistrate Innocent said while the defendant’s apology was intended to be remorseful, it came off like ‘righteous indignation’. He further noted that the penalty was not harsher because the offender is a single father of five.

The court, however, made a mandatory order for the father to attend anger management counselling for two years at the Social Development Department.

Child fears for life

The court was told that on January 22 last year, the father hit his son repeatedly before he slammed him to the ground and used his fists and his feet to choke the boy.

The court heard that the father had battered the child to that extent at least five times in the past.

The child sustained swelling and several abrasions to his jaw and on the right side of his face. Court reports indicate that the abrasions measured seven and five centimetres. The boy also suffered injuries to his eye and right shoulder.

“The punishment was degrading, to say the least … [it] was to instil fear and anxiety in the child who expresses fear that the next time the defendant chokes him, he will not let go,” Magistrate Innocent said.

No social inquiry done

Notably, the child continues to live with his father to this day.

The court heard that, despite the offence, no social inquiry was done that would assist the court with any measures that can be taken to protect the child.

Meanwhile, the court was told that the death of the defendant’s wife may have contributed to the abuse of the child. However, Magistrate Innocent did not accept that as any justifiable excuse. He also pointed out that the man’s deceased wife was also the boy’s mother so he (the child) was also grieving.

The relationship between the father and his son is said to have improved since the man successfully completed the Partnership For Peace programme, the court heard.

Defence attorney Patrick Thompson represented the offender.


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  1. Bible says:

    Children obey your parents!

    Like 11
    Dislike 47
    • Reply says:

      How about letting me choke the day light of you until you lose consciousness, and justify my actions with the bible?

      If I could, I would choke you right now thru my computer screen for posting that nonsense.

      Like 54
      Dislike 8
    • Also Bible says:

      Parents do not provoke your children to wrath.

      Like 31
    • May God forgive you says:

      Just as how it’s not okay for an adult female to have a black and blue eye from a man who is maintaining her, it’s is worse and certainly not okay for a child to have black and blue eye,neck, body because the father is maintaining him!

      Shame on all those who agree with the father because the situation is clear, he stressed out because his wife died and he took it out on a child who cannot properly fend for himself.Shame!

      And now this bar is set, those who come close to abusing their children this way may even get a lighter sentence.

      Like 6
      Dislike 5
  2. Failing your children says:

    BVI – you are failing your children. No social investigation done? No follow up? No safe place for the child to live. And only a 2 month sentence IF he reoffends? This is disgraceful.

    Like 61
    Dislike 8
    • Eye Above says:

      But the situation analysis report speaks of this in the BVI. It states “Violence against children is widespread and pervasive and continues to compromise social progress and development.” Then foolish adults get sensitive when the truth is seen and stated. How does a magistrate who just got here knows the practice of the culture already. Wicked to their innocent ones! I don’t care who gets upset, save your anger to answer God when the time comes.

  3. For real says:

    Spear the rod and spoil the child

    Like 14
    Dislike 27
    • WOW says:

      There are other, more effective, ways to discipline a child than abusing them to that level. This is 2018 parents need to become more innovative. The old school ways barely worked. Let’s do better for our children.

      Like 23
    • @for real says:

      sombody need to break the rod in your….where the good lord split you

      Like 7
      Dislike 5
  4. Reply says:

    Something is wrong with this picture. This so called father battered his son to the point of unconsciousness. Reportedly, battered him on 5 other occasions, yet he receives essentially a slap on his wrist by getting a suspended sentence.

    Even the judge described his behavior as a ‘savage act of brutality’, yet he give this man a suspended sentence, and apparently allowed him to have contact with this child.

    What is the magistrate waiting for?…for him to kill the child the next time around? This child has not only being physically abused but in all likelihood has been psychologically traumatized by the actions of his father as well.

    Can one imagine the fear this child is probably experiencing each time he is around this man?

    This child’s mother, God rest her soul, is not there to protect him, and is probably rolling in her grave.

    Who is there to protect this child? The court has allowed this monster to have contact with this child again. This should not be, and quite frankly he needed some good time at Balsum Ghut for the brutality he dished out to his son.

    Child abuse, and domestic abuse will never end unless it’s taken seriously and that includes by our courts. This child who reportedly fears for his life needs protection from his so called father, and the court has failed him.

    The father does not need no Partnership For Peace programme; he needs some jail time to get his attention, and most importantly this battered child needs protection from him. Sickening!

    Like 47
    Dislike 4
    • small island says:

      well said. The lack of social intervention and the court’s response is frightful for all abused people. A child is especially vulnerable and we don’t know the child’s age; but no one should be battered like that from a parent.

      Like 18
      Dislike 1
      • Reply says:

        The fact that you have several people on here supporting this abusive behavior towards a child is troubling and an indication of the challenge that lies ahead to combat this kind of behavior.

        Clearly, there are some who do not see the difference between appropriate disciplinary actions towards a child vs abusive and criminal behavior. Some need to be educated on this issue.

        These abusive parents should know that these children will grow up one day. They should not be surprised if they abuse orhers including their own children in the future.

        They should also not be surprised if these abused surviving children have little to nothing to do with them in their older years or worse turn around and abuse them.

        That father should know his son will not remain a child forever. The world is indeed round. What you dish out in life often comes back to you.

        Like 21
    • Corrupt says:

      When you have a department placed to protect children lying under oath amongst other unethical acts, the entire department needs investigating for matters to be taken seriously.

    • Blind justice says:

      This child needs to be removed quickly. He will kill the poor boy and the blood will be on the courts hands and social services. Obviously the father has hate in his heart ! Protect this child I beg you ! For goodness sake take him away from this mad man

  5. Faithful says:

    Wth. What if this child had died? The other 4 would be without father and mother because his backside would be up Balsam Ghut for murder. Some of these parents sickens me. There are alternate ways to deal with your rebellious teens.

    Like 23
    Dislike 3
    • help says:

      If the father allow the boy to continue to be disrespectful the other boys will start acting up. ..this is why the bvi has so many young kids in jail..bvi let’s stop spearing the I am saying they need lucks. .young girls out all night while mother and father home sleeping. .

      Like 10
      Dislike 17
      • Agreed help says:

        Help the youths early on by giving lessons in respect and discipline. Corporal punishment is legal and necessary to keep unruly children in check. If parents did more of this then we would have empty prisons and low crimes.

        If you are tired of hearing about another gunshot victim or fighting in schools please teach them to respect authority!

        This begins with parents. So to the father, you were only trying to do right and raise your children according to the Bible.

        The child will thank you one day for these lessons, that will save his life!

        Like 2
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        • Virginia says:

          Where did you get the child was rude and disrespectful?

          Like 15
          Dislike 4
        • what! says:

          where exactly does the bible say beat your child until it is unconcious?

          Like 3
          Dislike 1
        • @ agreed help says:

          Don’t agree with everything u say. However children in these times are unruly. Unruly to the degree that no amount of talking is solution to this problem. These children,and I am not generalising, don’t get me wrong. They just push your buttons and often times will rather beat and threaten their parents or elders. Next thing u know u are living to suit the child demands or worse yet u could be injured or dead if the adults don’t be aggressive with them. So until I hear why the father used such cruel methods of scolding, I am going to rest my case I didn’t believe in physically scolding anyone until I became a victim.

  6. Luvz says:

    Wow! This just made me teary-eyed. Abuse of any kind (mental, physical or sexual) are wrong and should not be tolerated.

    Like 18
  7. how this this acceptable says:

    that poor child and his siblings must feel absolutely worthless. Their poor position has finally come to light and they are hoping for help and support from the Courts and instead they are being returned to their father, as if he has done no wrong.

    These children will then be going to school and treating others in the same way as they themselves are treated. As apparently the courts have now blessed that this is how you should treat each other.

    Surely this is even a sign from the father that he is not coping with his new situation. Can the BVI really not do more to help him and his children?

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
    • Wait says:

      Wait pon time. Once a man, twice a child. This father is setting himself up good and proper for his old age. Children don’t forget abuse. This one who he choke till he unconscious will have a hard time to forgive this, and his siblings will also see the wickedness of their father and grow to despise him also, even if they themselves never got the same kind of abuse…maybe he abuse all of them in some way or another. The court give him off easy, but his real punishment will come when these children turn their backs on him, in his old age, if he live long enough. Who knows, he might end up in some old people home where the treatment is not so nice, then he will see how it feels to be taken advantage of when you are vulnerable. I pray he makes it up to his children before its too late.

      Like 10
  8. Hmmm says:

    The placards and big billboards that you see on the roads of BVI are just “press release” to fool people in BVI that gov’t is doing something for the abused.

  9. Anonymous says:

    When is it justifiable to be abusive to another human?
    Several individuals comment on “if the child continue to be disrespectful ” I did not read anything in the article that give a reason for the battery of an individual.
    If this father I had done the same act to you he would of been charged with Battery plus maybe a few other charges is it justifiable because he is the parent?
    It is never OKAY/justifiable to batter/abuse your children

  10. Louise says:

    When is it justifiable to be abusive to another human?
    Several individuals comment on “if the child continue to be disrespectful ” I did not read anything in the article that give a reason for the battery of an individual.
    If this father I had done the same act to you he would of been charged with Battery plus maybe a few other charges is it justifiable because he is the parent?
    It is never OKAY/justifiable to batter/abuse your children

  11. A Parent says:

    End Child Abuse

    Like 10
  12. Sistah Ras-ifrica – VI Abroad says:

    WARNING: My post may not be societal, political, nor religiously accepted or embraced, but necessary in our worldview perspectives.
    “When people don’t have a clear mission to fight for, they fight each other. The creator has always presented the solutions before the problems.”
    Using Biblical verses for our society’s understanding-
    Genesis: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness (v. blackness) was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
    Genesis: 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
    “Actively Listen” to our youths they are communicating/expressing themselves in every-way possible: be it verbal, non-verbal, in various nuances, and actions, etc.

    Our ways of disciplining our children are archaic, the only solution is loving time and attention’ even a basic huge and expression of “ you know I love you; you can come to me about any happenings in your life that’s on your mind; I will not judge you; I will listen and give you my experiences, tough love or otherwise, without the abuse.”
    I had to run from our country because I relied on cannabis to ease the pains of a vehicle accident I incurred there, and my parents added injury to my problem by force/abuse without understanding the kind of pain I was experiencing at the time.

    Today, I live in an environment where I can use cannabis steamed or by oils for medical and spiritual reasons, legally. Cannabis oils have also reversed my bout with ovarian cancer at one time in my life.

    Likewise, today, I live a strictly organic/natural/from the earth life. I refuse to use conventional medicines as a conscious/ aware individual. Never fit in anyway and I have accepted that “Blessing” in my sojourn.  
    “The ears that refuse to listen will follow its head to destruction.” Some of our children are rebelling for a reason. Do you care to understand or enforce your form of learnt abuse from the days of ole….
    I regularly plug into” The Chairman” at the long-live “ZBVI 780 Radio Online” to get my dose of balanced consciousness from the roots of- My Beloved Virgin Islands. My family and I are longing to come back home, still own property there paying the required taxes on it, but at this time, without the legal structures in placed for alternative medicines, it’s best we stay-putt.
    Our parents and leaders must do better by modeling a better example of what change our VI “yearn” to create.
    Everyday this sistah vibe to Living Chants and Songs, I am compelled to share today:

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • Sistah Ras-ifrica – VI Abroad says:

      Slight correction (Hug)…the only solution is loving time and attention’ even a basic “hug” and expression of “ you know I love you;” you can come to me about anything on your mind; I will not judge you; I will listen and give you my experience, tough love or otherwise, without the abuse.”

  13. Update says:

    No kids deserve that type of punishment regardless of their wrong doing. Most parents think by giving their kids clothing and food that all the need. Spent time with you kids people.

    The are a reflection of you.

  14. upfullness says:

    Nobody is going to jail. A lot of suspended Sentence. I guess Balo full up.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is so wrong.

  16. Cycle says:

    The folks who agree with this are a part of the problem. I’m happy that it was recognized as abuse and there was some sort of punishment even though I felt like more could be done to protect the child. It’s about time they started getting serious with this as a lot of us went through abuse under the disguise of “discipline” as we somehow think that this is the way.

    For those agreeing with this, using the Bible to reinforce your point, do you really think that’s being a good Christian? Do you think that harming a child, especially to the point of unconsciousness, makes you a good Christian? If you think so then I really think that it’s time to re-examine your faith and its principles.

  17. Scary says:

    This is sad!

    God knows if this child is still being abused privately, the man above dosent sleep.

  18. DAMN MAN says:


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