BVI News

Gender equality concerns in justice system as man charged for retaliating at female attacker

Magistrate Baptiste-Dabreo

Following a domestic dispute that ended with a man being charged when he retaliated to a reported attack by his lover, a local magistrate is calling for gender equality within the territory’s criminal justice system.

Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo made the call on Wednesday during the case against Zion Hill resident Sheldon Barry who is charged with threatening language, criminal damage, and common assault. 

“How is he being charged and she is not? From the allegations [outlined], she assaulted him … [and] destroyed his phone,” the magistrate said.

“We have to be careful of the type of message we are sending. I am a feminist, but we have to look at the whole situation and we have to be fair in relations to these types of matters,” she added. 

What the court heard happened

According to reports by the prosecution, Barry and his girlfriend of 10 years were at their common-law home in Zion Hill on March 22. It is reported that around 10:45 pm, the girlfriend was exiting the kitchen area and returning to the bedroom when she was blocked by Barry.

The court heard that he was making sexual advances towards her but she was reportedly uninterested and confronted him about a previous issue in their relationship.

The couple then had a verbal exchange and the female reportedly hurled a bottle at him twice but missed.

She then grabbed his hair and proceeded to pull it, the court heard.

The court further heard that because of her actions, a scuffle ensued between the couple. During that time, Barry reportedly placed his hands around his girlfriend’s neck and released her shortly after.

It is alleged that the girlfriend then hurled his cellular phone to the ground, and in response, Barry slapped her across her face.

Sometime later, Barry reportedly used a knife to punch a hole in the heel of one of her shoes and one of her dresses.

He then attempted to pierce her handbag when the knife he was using broke. It is alleged that he then told her, “the next thing the knife is going to be in is you”.

The Crown said the girlfriend attempted to leave with their nine-month-old child that night but her vehicle was blocked in the driveway.

She then made a call to the police and reported the matter.

Barry was subsequently charged with the offences before the court.

She broke my phone, so I slapped her

During a cautioned interview with police, Barry reportedly admitted to assaulting his girlfriend.

“Listen, she kept hitting me and she mash up my phone so I slapped her,” he reportedly told law enforcers.

He also said he damaged her shoe and dress to make her feel how he felt when she destroyed his phone.

In court, Barry pleaded guilty to the criminal damage and common assault charges but not guilty to using threatening language.

He was granted $10,000 bail.

Barry, who informed the court that he and his girlfriend were still together but living apart, is scheduled to return to court on November 14.

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  1. On Point says:

    Advice to men if she hit you, run.

    If she hit you dont call the police.

    You call the police, she runs inside and scratch up herself.

    You get charged if she breaks a nail in the act.

    This isn’t new this is a world wide problem facing men, finally someone in power speaks up.

    Like 37
    Dislike 1
    • too far.. says:

      The man used excessive force. A knife? Really? Threatening the mother of a young child with a knife? Not funny.

      The woman should be reprimanded but the guy must understand that no means no. If he had gotten the message things would not have escalated.

      Like 4
      Dislike 9
  2. School Children Say... says:

    The actual LAW is clear, it is a level playing field for both men and women. There is no distinction. Now how the police, the courts, lawyers, etc., interpret the law is another thing. A judge sent a bad message a few months ago when she sentenced a rapist of a CHILD to some foolish time, and then a murderer to an even more foolish sentence. Only a few people had an issue with that and certainly no judge or magistrate took issue with it. So why the issue now? Perhaps the police and ALL of the judiciary need to come together, actually read the law, and get their act together.

    Like 7
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  3. word says:

    whenever you call the police.. the woman is always right. Experienced it.. not talking about the above.

    Like 14
  4. Advocate against violence and abuse says:

    I applaud the Esteemed Hon Magistrate for her keen and candid posture. It is for such reasons and more why we advocated for the change from “Women’s Desk” to Gender Affairs. Both need to be disciplined. I Do NOT encourage or support any man abusing a woman in any form or manner and or any woman abusing man. We must do all we can to abort this ill behavior and mindset that’s destroying families and raising children in the negative.

    Like 17
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  5. Anonymous says:

    The girl friend seems to be the aggressor. What he should have done is simple take a time out and leave the house for a bit.

    Like 13
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    • ire says:

      and if the man was the aggressor she should have reported him?? Nonsense.. He should have called the police on her.. that should be your recommendation her @Anonymous

  6. Stainlessrat says:

    Me too! I have proof that the police are the worst followed by hospital manager then in the courts. Men are bias againts right down the line.

  7. local woman says:

    she need to be charged also..she press the man yo!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  8. Me. Again says:

    Give up d pum pum 5–10 mins. Every thing safe

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  9. Blade says:

    Any Ou-man put dem Hand on me its LMN Episodes

    Like 1
    Dislike 3

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