BVI News

Grieving offender shown leniency, to get counselling while at HMP

Govia outside the Magistrate’s Court this week.

A 53-year-old transient who claims to be grieving his deceased brother has been given a ‘discount’ on his prison sentence.

Ivan Govia, who is no stranger to the court, was sentenced after confessing to resisting arrest, using insulting language, and disorderly conduct inside a police station.

In handing down judgement on Wednesday, Magistrate Shawn Innocent sentenced Govia to three months imprisonment for each of the offences.

The magistrate, however, ordered that the sentences run concurrently (at the same). That effectively means that the offender will only spend a total of three months in prison.

Magistrate Innocent further ordered that Govia undergo counselling for drug and alcohol abuse throughout the duration of his incarceration.

“It appears that you are a prime candidate for rehabilitation … so we are going to help you to help yourself,” Magistrate Innocent said.

Govia told the court that he was previously admitted to a mental health facility and is a known marijuana smoker. He also has no fixed address, the court heard.

“My brother died [and] I take it a little hard,” Govia explained.

What happened

On April 19, Govia was arrested for theft but was later granted police bail.

On April 30, he reportedly stole food and clothing items belonging to the BVI Red Cross.

The matter was reported to the police and the stolen items were recovered.

When Red Cross officials told him that a report was made to police, he began to use threatening language and behave disorderly.

When police arrived, he resisted arrest and was eventually detained and taken to the Road Town Police Station.

At the station, surveillance cameras captured him continuing to behave in a disorderly fashion. He also used insulting language to a female police officer.

Govia was subsequently charged. He was unrepresented in court.


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  1. Smh says:

    Maybe more criminals should claim that they are grieving and they will get a slap on the wrist from the magistrate

    Like 3
    Dislike 10
  2. son of the soil says:

    This island man offspring was ——- from the states to be a n—– to us. He was born here to island people but grew up in the states

    Like 1
    Dislike 11
    • What? says:

      Island people?? what is wrong with you? What are you? Had he won a prestigious award, you would claim him to be a Virgin Islander. Stop it!! we are one! In case you come with “born here” nonsense, I was born here, seven generations going back, this is divisiveness and it must stop!

      Like 21
      • Kinte says:

        Totally agree with you. People need to have some love, understanding and forgiveness.
        Yes he commited a crime I am sure a lot less than someof them who put him. Those who drive after drinking orworse.

        Like 6
        Dislike 1
  3. Really Red Cross??? says:

    As a person that donates to the Red Cross, could they not allow this homeless man to take the items without being charged? Did they really have to call the police because he ‘stole’, probably much needed items that the Red Cross did not have to purchase? Where is our heart? Where is our sense of community? Yes stealing is wrong, but he clearly was in need!

    Like 45
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    • Volunteer says:

      The Red Cross helps everyone in need, but that doesn’t mean you have to steel from them. Go to the office and ask and they will assist you in any possible way. Thousands of people got help from Red Cross after IRMARIA.

      Like 15
      • Another Volunteer says:

        He goes to the Red Cross every night and when the people bring the things to donate he and —— —- them out of the bags and scatter them all over the place and leave them there. The Red Cross would give him stuff when he comes during opening time and when night comes he goes and — the things even during the day. and c—- people like dogs.

      • Bye says:

        A thief is a thief no matter what.
        Wonder if any Tolians are in h– country indigent stealing and being totally useless, If so, we should do an exchange. If not, deport h– back and his side. A complete w—- and a total li——- to the VI. Certainly his country so called Association and pastors should/ could
        take this load.

    • Blackbutterfly says:

      Really Red Cross? Not because the items were given freely. You have to have order. The red cross would most likely have helped him out if he had simply went to them humbly like everyone else!

      Like 13
    • Well well says:

      If you didn’t know he turns around and —-/ try to — the items to acquire his b—- and w— money

  4. Look Dude says:

    I smell a rat miles away. I lost a uncle and a aunt on the same day right after the hurricane. Dude cut the bull***t.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  5. Tola says:

    This man have no behaviour at all very disrespectful and nasty. Red cross suppose to give people who in need clothes etc. But they’re so greedy up there especially that spanish woman who feel up there is hers.I dont don’t donate my clothes there no more I carry them the animal shelter or church. I would like the director to open her eyes cause that woman aint easy at all. She running everybody who come to shop and volunteer.

    Like 6
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    • Concerned says:

      It’s unfortunate when people blab their mouth without knowledge. The Red Cross help people in need all the time especially that man. How many times a week must the same person receive free clothes? Now that the public know this man have a need I hope they reach out and help him. Instead of carrying all your clothes to the shelter and the Church, help him and others.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Concerned Donor says:

      I understand that habitually call all them [email protected] friends as soon as items are sorted to take up the best of the lot.

  6. oh mannn says:

    They shudda just let the man go with the clothes and tell him that next time come in the office and ask for more… really @the Red cross… The clothes were donated but I guess they want to make a profit or something….

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  7. Wow... says:

    Anyone who knows this guy knows he just spun the magistrate a whole load of –. That he is grieving is possible and I don’t mean to trivialize his loss but make no mistake, that man is a glorified t—-. He’s been to —– several times for the same o——— and he has no r—— for his behaviour.

  8. Inquiry says:

    There are Organizations formed by each of the upper Caribbean islands here in th Vi. Their members pay dues and they have fund raising. There are numerous churches also formed and the followers are of these same Islands. The collection plate is a fixture.
    Exactly,pray tell, what are/ is the function of these groups. One would think that it would be to assist their countrymen in need. Each and every charity and charitable organization and gov funds are dominated by these same folks for assistance. A drain on the meager resources of this little VI.

  9. Pleeeese says:

    These folks of immigrants are bankrupting this place with needy and greedy and abominable habits. How is this place better off because of him and his parents.VIslanders do not go and place a burden on the resources of other Caribbean Islands, They have no shame.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  10. de silent one says:

    He’s been a real n——- to the community, and have no intention to do anything else but just that and s—–. — have no respect for others, he needs to be off the street for a DAM long time.

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