BVI News

Magistrate chides lawyer for being ‘unprepared’ for court

Magistrate Tamia Richards chided a senior defence attorney, Leroy Jones, for being unprepared for the sentencing hearing of his client, Tambu Frett.

Frett was to be sentenced in relation to smuggling a man into the territory, Illegal Entry and Breach of Curfew. He had pleaded guilty to those offences earlier this month.

During Frett’s last court appearance, his matter was adjourned to today, April 30 after cellphone records indicated that Frett was allegedly involved in a much larger smuggling operation.

But when the matter got underway via a Zoom conference call today, Magistrate Richards had to push the case to Friday at noon to allow Jones to submit an electronic copy of the legal references he used while making arguments on behalf of his client.

The magistrate said it was protocol for any attorney to furnish the court with the documents before the proceedings commence.

“I will send a message of deterrence! Who don’t like it, the court of appeal is open to them. Let them file their application,” the no-nonsense magistrate said while admonishing the defence attorney.

She further said that as a native of the Virgin Islands, she will do her best for the territory and adding: “Who like it, like it. Who don’t, don’t. It doesn’t cost me any sleep.”

Jones was arguing for his client to get a one-third discount on the legally prescribed penalty for the offences for which his client is charged.

The attorney said Frett qualifies for the discount because he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. Jones, however, neglected to submit the case law supporting those arguments.


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  1. wow says:

    These 2 @ it again?

  2. Smuggling man says:

    wants to get 1/3 of his sentence? Throw the BOOK at him!

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  3. awful behavior. says:

    What awful language from the Magistrate!
    And extraordinary that she does not know about the 1/3 discount for an early plea! Even non lawyers know about that. Enough grandstanding from the Magistrate!
    Why didn’t the DPP’s representative confirm the discount – maybe she doesn’t knelt either?

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    • You cant read? says:

      The law states that when an argument is being put to the court, the lawyer who references the section of the Law, MUST provide to the court, the section in writing ahead of the day the case is being sat. You need to read again and understand. The lawyer knows this but chose to appear before the court without following basic protocols which he is fully aware of. He is wasting everyone’s time and money.

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  4. Technically says:

    If I were Mr. Frett, I would be upset. Not sure if they can use US case references but they shouldn’t be able to used what was found in the cell phone in this case. It has absolutely no bearing. You can’t try me for one thing then attempt to accuse me for another. It’s his legal right to have a fair trial based upon facts presented in this case and this only. This whole thing needs to be thrown out at this point it’s too much extra factors for no reason…. it’s tainted.

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  5. Rubber Duck says:

    It is disturbing that a magistrate cannot or will not speak correct English.

    Like 3
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    • Tamario says:

      listen, ayo keep off my senior Magistrate. The right woman for the job. She knows the law and applies it well

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