BVI News

Opposition Leader a character witness for convicted cop, begs mercy

Penn (left) and Huggins

Opposition leader Marlon Penn was one of the character witnesses for interdicted police officer Starcy Huggins who was found guilty of leaking police information back in 2013.

Huggins was convicted on one count of ‘breach of trust by a public officer’ and is due to be sentenced on April 9.

In an official letter in his capacity as opposition leader which was read in court on Thursday, Penn said he knew Huggins for at least 20 years and begged the Magistrate’s Court to ‘temper justice with mercy’.

He said he knew her to be a committed and dedicated officer and said ‘it came as a surprise’ when he learnt of the offence. The opposition leader then urged the court to take into account her previous unblemished character when handing down a sentence.

Give her a second chance – aunt

In the meantime, Huggins’ aunt – Sesilee Thomas of Old Plantation, Tortola
– was another character witness for the embattled law enforcer.

“I know Starcy to be a very hard working person,” she said in an address to the court on Thursday.

“I am very sorry for the situation and I am asking the court to be merciful to her and remember her children,” the aunt said, seemingly near to tears.

Thomas said one of Huggins’s two sons has a heart condition. When Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo asked her what type of sentence she would impose if she had the power to do so, Thomas said she would not impose a custodial sentence.

“I would give her a second chance,” the family member said.

The interdicted cop, who is no longer believed to be in law enforcement, can be sentenced up to three years at Her Majesty’s Prison for the offence.

What happened

The court heard that on November 29, 2013, Huggins who was part of a covert police operation, reportedly alerted two criminal suspects that police was on to them.

“Hey, hey … ayo, owe me big time. They (police) coming. They coming now,” Huggins reportedly said to the suspected criminals while law enforcers were en route to their location.

The court was told that she had seized the opportunity to make the call when her colleagues exited their police vehicle for a brief moment.

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57 Comments

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  1. NO! says:

    If this woman doesn’t get a serious sentence it will be a blow to our justice system and the Opposition Leader showing up to beg for her is not a good thing given the specific nature of the crime she is accused of. What she did goes to the root of crime fighting and the justice system. It was a serious threat to the integrity of such a system. It may have been a bad spur of the moment choice…may…but even that needs to get the sternest disapproval from Judges because it goes beyond the persons…it’s the thing itself that needs the sternest disapproval.

    Like 92
    Dislike 4
    • Disagree says:

      Where is this a threat the the integrity of the system? As usual a expert from what was read out in court. I was there and he didn’t show up in court, a letter of character was written on her behalf. Does she not deserve another chance like everyone who have falling foul of the law?

      He without sin cast the first stone. You people must be careful, what ain’t pass you ain’t catch you.

      Like 6
      Dislike 38
  2. Kerp out says:

    These politicians need to stay out of these things and stop promoting wrong.

    Like 97
    Dislike 2
  3. Wolf says:

    Same politician who approve a dental license for another person to kill local businesses.

    Like 17
    Dislike 27
    • To Wolf says:

      Look here, Tortola need dentists OK. There isn’t enough. Me waiting a year for a filling is ridiculous.

      Like 61
      Dislike 12
      • Nonsense says:

        Competition is a good thing!! Keeps things in check and very healthy for the economy. Which customer don’t like to have options. Year long wait just because you miss your appointment is foolishness and crazy.

        Like 27
        Dislike 2
  4. Akbar says:

    Our political leaders should respect the separate arms of government. It doesn’t appear right when they try to influence the court using political power. Marlon is very close to some questionable people so I watching him with my two eyes wide open.

    Like 60
    Dislike 3
    • What!!! says:

      She endangered the lives of police officers , deservves the maximum sentence.

      Like 55
      Dislike 1
      • Confucius says:

        Exactly! To endanger the lives of those on her own team is an unforgivable betrayal. She is an enemy of law and order and an enemy of the people.

        She DOES deserve the maximum sentence. She knew exactly what she was doing. Aiding and abetting is not enough.

        Like 22
        Dislike 1
    • Typical says:

      Who you people need to pay attention to you don’t You need to stop casting aspersions on persons character with your suggestive nonsense.

      Many of you need to look into the mirror. I’m sure this is a classic case of Pot calling the kettle bottom black.

      Like 5
      Dislike 20
  5. Nonsense says:

    The NDP is like a National Dose of Poison every time you look around they are disappointing you. What she did was a serious crime officers could have lost their lives walking into an ambush.

    These politicians would do anything for votes Marlon I am disappointed in you. To go and asked for mercy for someone convicted of betraying public trust which is something you should never stand for or do yourself.

    And she also endangered the lives of her fellow officers. But the laws are old and is a pistacle she will get a slap on the wrist.

    Like 50
    Dislike 6
    • Huh says:

      I guess you people don’t read to comprehen the fact the officers exited the vehicle was a clear sign that she was set up and didn’t even know… so with that said they call off the mission and went back to the station to play the hidden tape that she didn’t know about and there was the findings on the tape…

      Like 2
      Dislike 26
      • @Huh says:

        So what if she was set up? I call it good policing. In a real life situation, those officers could have been dead because of her lack of integrity. I hope that the judge throws the book at her. All dirty cops need to be rooted out.

  6. ndp heckler says:

    birds of a feather flock together

    Like 16
    Dislike 4
  7. Insider says:

    Lmaoooo Marlon you can’t be serious?!?! I guess it’s a f—- to the guy she called to notify they were planning to raid him because he is your f—– whom was one of two persons who wit——- on your behalf on nomination day and endorsed your campaign! Well scratch his —- he scratch —- too eh! Two pigs helping a mule!!

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  8. TurtleDove says:

    This is a very serious crime that could have get her colleagues killed. Nough said!. There are plenty of people in prison who have kids.

    Like 31
  9. Breeding dec---t and c------tion says:

    Why testify for a c*****t cop? NDP policy?

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  10. Anonymous says:

    Well at least we now know why they never supported law enforcement. That’s why the Governor for the first time ever in the history of the BVI had to step in and seize funds for the police.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  11. Disappointing says:

    Look at this for a leader. Poor judgment. This police woman was working with the criminal community and tipping them off on things that the police was investigating. This is a serious offense. What if it was a murder they were investigatin and she did this? And here we have a politician to the rescue trying to get her off. Marlon should be ashamed for this! Lost all respect for you now.

    Like 43
    Dislike 2
  12. Mutual says:

    So when Irene ask at the time she was in office for her son VIP was not very ignorant people then. You all need to understand the article Marlon is not saying let het off the hook he is saying have a bit of mercy.

    If you all underdtand the juriduciary system any member of government can ask for pardon on a citizen of a country it isnot wrong. If it was wrong will the judge or magistrate allow a politician to be a character witness.

    We need to educate ourselves

    Like 13
    Dislike 22
  13. VI political says:

    As a politician this is not the first this has happen. For many years politicians act as a character witness. So why try to make Marlon look like a bad guy. Everybody talking about second chances when it comes to VIP but when it comes to NDP or any other we have the worst to say or do. You same ones went to NDP government for help for all ayo dirty deeds. You guys are opportunist.

    I guess it is ok for Willock, Claude and Bevis and others under the VIP to get second chances. Some of you BVI people full of hogwash.

    You guys remember to forget.

    Like 25
    Dislike 20
  14. Faith says:

    This is the first time she got caught. That doesn’t mean that she hasn’t done it on other occasions and got away with it

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  15. @Wolf says:

    Don’t kid yourself here. The local dentists are killing themselves! Furthermore, I would rather a BVI Belonger who has businesses here and have lived here for a long time open a dental business here than have St Thomas practitioners catching a boat, taking our money and heading back over to the USVI. The hatred in your hearts infecting your brain!

    Like 7
    Dislike 13
  16. fishy says:

    what’s missing from this story is the when was the character reference presented to the court. With the omission of this bit of information can lead one to suspect this news site of attempting to create mischief.

    I am aware that this case was in the courts some time back and if my suspicions are correct this would have been submitted while Mr Penn was in government and not opposition.

    Additionally we also need to remember that while leaders are leaders they are also human, friends of etc… giving CHARACTER reference in no way suggests that you support an flawed action of a person.

    Do your research and you will see how many POLITICIANS, past, present, dead and alive that give CHARACTER reference for persons found guilty of criminal misconducts…. SMDH

    Like 17
    Dislike 6
    • Myrun at it Again says:

      Another desperate attempt by the disgraced loosing Chairman trying to cling to power by trying to discredit Smurf. Good sir everyone is up to your malicious tactics. Please just exit stage left we are all tired of your antics.

      This news site should also be more responsible, with their headline and short exert. This cannot have been the extent of Mr. Penn’s statement. Shame on you BVI news. Do not allow yourselves to be used as someone’s tool of attempted distruction.

      Dislike 100
    • @Fishy says:

      It needs to stop and it needs to stop Now. I think that’s the final nail in the NDPs coffin. This should never have happened and I’m disappointed in the court for allowing it, especially in this case.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  17. Poor thinking says:

    Marlon in his position should have known better. This raises serious doubts in my mind about his level of maturity. This is no ordinary crime. This is a d—- cop working with the criminal network in the country. How many times must she have done this. From the case you could tell she was set up which would seem as if she has done this before. It would also be hard to believe that she did it for free. She must have pr—–d in some way from tipping off the criminal elements. Her colleague officers lives was also put in danger by her actions. This is a serious situation and the leader of the opposition wrote on her behalf asking for mercy? Unbelievable! He should not have been close to this situation at all. I am wondering if he knows the seriousness of what he has done.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  18. Wake Up says:

    Sketchy lawyers and the popo working together to give people a heads up to not get caught.

    The system rotten to the core

    Like 10
  19. Crew says:

    He and his whole crew is shady .

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  20. OMG says:

    SHE personally CALLED the criminals !!

    Like 11
  21. Truth758 says:

    She needs to get a custodial sentence to SEND A STRONG message to others. The police are doing their best in difficult circumstances and THIS TR—–R is there tipping off the crooks. 6 months for her.

    • JG says:

      Only 6 months???? You must be crazy!!! 5 years would be a fair sentence but it is beyond the limit of the (outdated) maximum sentence.

  22. Crooked says:

    Wait until you hear some of the things done in trade department. The S**t will hit the fan.

    Like 12
  23. Guy Hill says:

    The Virgin Islands needs to develop a culture where corrupt people fear incorruptible people and not the other way around. Seize the time. Be Brave.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  24. hmm says:

    how many other times did she leak information.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  25. Mee says:

    Some Politicians and lawyers are so corrupt and olot of them r going straight to the lake of fire which is prepared for the devil and his followers may the lord have mercy on some of us

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  26. Just shut up says:

    All of you who is on the blog throwing shade because Marlon was a character witness for someone is a bunch of idiots in a bucket. He probably did not know about what was going on.He spoke about the person that he knew. You clappers really need to get a life.

    Like 10
    Dislike 14
  27. Lawyer says:

    All of you who have a negative view are clearly being political. Character witness is someone who has known the offender and can give the court a picture of the person they knew over a period of time. Asking the court for mercy is the humane thing anyone will do who knows the plight of the defendant.

    Like 17
    Dislike 4
  28. Enough says:

    The laws in this country are like a joke. A police officer was put under investigation because it was suspected that she was a leak in the police department; and was caught telling the suspect that the police coming; and an elected minister would stand as a character witness for that person, SMH. You people don’t respect the laws. Is sending her to jail is the best lesson?

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  29. concern says:

    What about the case with she and her cousin?

  30. Akbar 2 says:

    Marlon why are you having the persons ratted to have you in this shame on you as a district 8 voter I’m ashamed of your behaviour then again you’re known by the company you kept. I hope the magistrate give Starcy the maximum jail sentence no fine which will be paid by q————— finds. You politicians too damn out of order. Sick of you all

  31. FACT FINDER says:

    Did EVERYONE forget, it was announced years before the police have intercepting capabilities. THEY WERE LISTENING TO HER LONG BEFORE, They know what she had be doesing, and it seems like theY set rat trap, CAUGHT RED HANDED, PANTHS DOWN,NEED TO BE MAKEN AN EXAMPLE. mARLON Go sit down shame on you, you supporting a person who endangered the lives of police officers

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  32. Sad says:

    They set the woman up n she fell 4 the bait! Sad! Real sad!!!!

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  33. Hmmmmm says:

    I have known Ms Starcy for a very long time. She is a very hard honest worker who works for whatever she needs. She is a very dependable person. I have heard what the witnessses have said. I know that we are not perfect and sometimes we fall short. Its sad but i will like for the Magistrate to have leniency on her and give her a suspend sentence and if she commits even a traffic violation then send her to jail.

    Like 1
    Dislike 10
    • Blah says:

      Lol, I know you did not describe someone that broke her oath as a police and tipped off the criminals as very honest. It was dishonest to break the oath as an officer and it was dishonest to tip off criminals.

  34. Imagine says:

    Imagine the Popo them done give the officer her walking papers already. Imagine that! Sad so sad

  35. Picture Here says:

    Police officer suspected of tipping off criminals. Is caught on tape. Politician asks court for mercy. Everything about this is wrong, same politician who is saying, serious about crime!

  36. hmmm says:

    if super cop got back his job… then ummmm….

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  37. Anonymous says:

    Maddness maddness……. Pen

  38. Gordon says:

    This act is horrible. She is a traitor who endangers the lives of her coworkers and the community as a whole.People of her sort are responsible for many criminals and killers to escape and putting the community at risk.
    This is a lesson to the people recruiting applicants to such sensitive place(law enforcement).
    Gog will help us.

  39. CCB says:

    And they complain there are not enough locals on the police force. Well this woman exemplifies why. She put her petty tribal loyalties above the safety and well being of her fellow officers. Unconscionable. And it goes beyond the police; it’s attitudes like this that are holding the BVI back in so many areas. We can be better than this.

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