BVI News

Judge dismisses major pollution case in High Court

The building that houses the High Court in Road Town, Tortola.

What is believed to be the first-ever pollution-related case in the British Virgin Islands was dismissed in the High Court last Tuesday, March 17.

Rey Rodriguez and Anand Lettsome were charged with the offence of pollution, which reportedly occurred on August 15, 2013.

The men were accused of “recklessly vitiating the atmosphere by causing oil to flow into a drain, thereby causing the air to become noxious to the discomfort of persons in Road Town”.

What was alleged

The court heard that on the day in question, the duo — who were employees of Triple L Company — visited the Water & Sewerage pump station in Road Town to dispose of sewerage, as was customary.

The court heard that the men reportedly placed the hose from their truck into the overflow pipe — instead of the correct waste chamber — and discharged what was believed to be oil, among other forms of waste.

The matter was reported to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, who then launched an investigation and subsequently charged the men with the offence.

No case!

At the conclusion of their trial — which saw testimonies from employees of the Department of Disaster Management and the Water & Sewerage Department — the accused men’s attorney, Stephen Daniels, submitted a no-case submission to the court.

Daniels argued that the Crown failed to lead any evidence that the ambient air was contaminated with pollutants after the alleged oil spill.

He said it was the Crown’s duty to test the atmosphere for any pollution, which they failed to do.

On that basis, High Court Judge Trevor Ward upheld the no-case submission.

If the men had been convicted, they would have faced a maximum of 14 years at Her Majesty’s Prison or slapped with a maximum $75,000 fine.

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8 Comments

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  1. Time for change says:

    They were charged with “recklessly vitiating the atmosphere” but the prosecution lead no evidence “that the ambient air was contaminated with pollutants”. Foolishness and stupidness!
    Surly the prosecutor needs to be charged with gross incompetence!
    Which prosecutor was responsible?
    Does the buck stop with the acting DPP?
    Should she resign?
    Where is the acting DPP?

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  2. well sah says:

    Well if it wasn’t them then who did it?

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
    • What!!’ says:

      “well sah”. Yes they did it but due to the incompetence of the prosecution the case was thrown out of court.

      Like 16
      Dislike 1
    • So says:

      They are very incompetent. Due to the arrogance of the incompetent leader cases would get threw out like rain. All the competent lawyers have left because of poor leadership now it worse.

  3. Judge says:

    Perhaps the judge can sentence the BVI government for polluting natures little secrets with their horror management of waste.

    The Pockwood Pond Paradise of Pollution and the Virgin Gorda Volcano don’t need any investigation evidence enough that the government is willingly polluting the environment and putting people’s health at risk.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  4. Check It says:

    Just go to Pockwood Pond after 11:00 PM the whole hillside is ablaze.

  5. Lol says:

    Depp’s office is at a state of decomposition. No vision, poor leadership . Arrogance is their method. Let them swallow it.

  6. Pond says:

    The Ag Dpp is going to blame the covid-19 for this one or her scapegoat ( the poooolice). Wait and see my people.

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