BVI News

Magistrate threatens to jail prosecutor, police for gross misconduct

Magistrate Shawn Innocent has threatened to imprison members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) as well as attorneys from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for what can be described as malpractice and a gross maladministration of justice.

He made the threat on Monday during a matter against Brian Brewley who is on trial for assault occasioning actual bodily harm on a teenage boy.

The threat stemmed from the discovery that a written statement — which prosecutors claimed to be that of Brewley’s — was presented to the court as evidence even though Brewley’s signature was not affixed to the document.

A signature would act as proof that Brewley had accepted that he was, in fact, the author of the statement.

Stephen Daniels, who is representing Brewley, discovered that his client’s signature was not affixed to the statement when a female police officer was using excerpts from the document to testify against the accused man.

A closer look at the statement showed that Brewley’s full name was written at the top of the document. Nevertheless, the signature line was empty.

“There is a difference between printing my name and my signature,” Daniels argued while pointing out the stark prosecutorial blunder.

Upon hearing this, the magistrate accused the RVIPF and the Office of the DPP of misleading the court.

“I am seeing a number of these documents coming to the court and none of them is witnessed or signed. If it happens again … or [someone] tells me somebody sign something and they did not sign it, everybody going to jail including the lawyer,” a seemingly irate Magistrate Innocent said.

Cop forges signature of defendant

A similar incident reportedly happened on Friday, when, under oath, another police officer told the court that a prosecutor had asked him to sign the signature of a defendant. The police officer admitted that he signed for the defendant moments before coming to testify as a Crown witness against the said defendant.

The forged signature was signed on to a compact disc — more commonly known as a CD — which had a recording of the defendant’s interview with police.

The court was told that the investigating officer in the matter had died and the original CD containing the defendant’s audiovisual interview could not be found.

Police reportedly had copies of the interview on a new, unsigned CD so they and the office of the DPP moved to submit this new CD into evidence without the knowledge of the court.

In order to do this, however, the new CD had to be signed by the defendant. A prosecutor, therefore, asked the police officer in question to sign on behalf of the defendant, unbeknown to anyone.

This is not my signature!

The matter came to light after the defendant stood in court and said that signature on the CD did not belong to her.

The prosecutor — who was involved in both this matter and the one involving Brewley — was therefore strongly chastised.

“In view of an incident that occurred in this courtroom [on Friday], I would have thought that after that incident occurred that somebody would have taken due notice and govern themselves accordingly. [But] somebody is trying to make a mockery of this court,” Magistrate Innocent said following the Brewley incident this week.

The magistrate had subsequently ruled that Brewley’s unsigned statement ought not to be accepted into evidence.

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21 Comments

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  1. STOP says:

    No chastisement here!!!!!

    Forgery and the obstruction/perversion of justice are criminal acts and those engaged in such acts MUST be prosecuted!!!!!

    STOP your nonsense! INNOCENT humans LIVES are at stake! STOP!!!

    Like 39
    Dislike 4
  2. Crappy says:

    It is rookie mistakes like these why some people like to say we have a Kangaroo court round here.

    Like 19
    Dislike 2
  3. Why?!? says:

    There was recently a seminar held talking about ethics and conduct of attorneys…

    Why cant attorneys and police officers do what they are supposed to do!? From making a mockery of the profession and the force. This is why many would speak about persons getting off on “technicalities”. Because of the failure of attorney and police officer to follow proper procedure, you have evidence being deemed inadmissible. In the pursuit of justice, HOW CAN YOU BE SO RECKLESS AND CARELESS?

    Like 16
  4. Luvz says:

    But wait! Hold right up here.

    It was the other day I read that two persons from Dominican Republic was sentence to prison for presenting fake documents. Now here we have a police officer who admitted in court to forging someone’s name/signature on a CD and he was not held accountable or even arrested? What the cocka-doo-doo is that?

    This is so wrong on all levels! Look they need to free those two people and send them back to Santo Domingo forthwith. So this tells me that some of those police been doing nonsense all along. Now how can citizens trust the popo after this? This is shameful!

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  5. one word says:

    CORRUPTION

    Like 11
  6. hmmm says:

    whole place gone to a complete mess. Joke of a country. Get these people prosecuted and all in jail rather than weak a$$ comments about future actions. SMH

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  7. Lili says:

    I am not at all surprised.

    Then comments are made that because the cops are not BVI belongers they are not respected, but I believe it is because of issues such as these, and people are well aware.

    Like 13
  8. Peaches says:

    Them blasted no good police officers doing this kind of underhandedness and then expect citizens to respect them! It has one I watching close, close. He think he is a bully and he could do what he wants when he is out of uniform but I got news for he..

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  9. Personally says:

    I admire Magistrate Shawn Innocent, but let’s get serious about crime and corruption in our country. It is climbing to the apex for such a small country. Nothing will change until someone is truthful about our problems. Supporting you all the way, except for the cannibas issue, inwhich you have been balanced so far, but you should not be the judge of all issues if no relevant facts nor statistics are presented for your position on the cannibas issue. Just keeping you in check. Appropriate structures should be in placed and enforced with the legalization of cannibas for its benefits and not one’s opinions of what can possibly happened to our youths if it is legalized. Just keeping it Real.

  10. One man aginst the worl says:

    Aint the popo and the Dpp office alone you have to check the notary puplics also because de does the same thing for the prosuction also de does sign peoples name for the Dpp and popo also

  11. Cooper says:

    When the same magistrate mr innocene comitted the last two locals to be extridited to america the who situation was based on the same situatio with forged documents involving the same 3 sets of people the Dpp popos and the notary puplic and all of dem still on their jobs

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  12. Brad Boynes says:

    No threat. Lock these people up. Too much nonsense going on on the BVI.

  13. Herb says:

    Will citizens now be chastized for small amounts???

  14. Hottie says:

    Why is the prosecutor not named?

    • This is tired. says:

      He is local that’s why.. but wait it’s coming.. He even threatens witnesses that stood in cases against him, so much wrong in this court system,someone need to intervene. A proud day for victims in the bvi.

  15. Brad Boynes says:

    These people should be in jail. To much mickey mouse with these law people.

  16. Concerned says:

    What is the Commissioner doing about it. As usual Nothing. You got to deal with corruption in the police.

  17. What says:

    This is a very serious matter indeed not to mention disturbing. The Governor been responsible for police and the commissioner need to address the public and mount a major investigation. Not to mention the Premier needs to address the public.

  18. HowNow says:

    There is not point for the Magisteate to get into a tiff with the prosecutors over this issue.

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