BVI News

Record conviction against former cop, court rules

Magistrate’s Court, John’s Hole, Tortola

While she fined Joel Gumbs $1,000 today for common assault, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards denied the former policeman’s request for his conviction to not be recorded.

He has until June 6 to pay the fine or he will serve two months in prison.

Gumbs, who was represented by attorney-at-law Jamal Smith, had asked the court not to record his conviction due to – among other things – his good character.

In response, the senior magistrate cited a section of British Virgin Islands law, which speaks to her power to not record an offender’s conviction.

The law effectively states that a judge can opt not to record a conviction if he/she believes the convict’s circumstances are ‘extreme’.

She said she does not believe Gumbs qualifies.

“It is not just good character,” the senior magistrate reasoned. “It is good character combined with good reason.”

He ‘disciplined’ daughter

Gumbs was convicted last November in relation to reports that he beat his adult daughter.

It is reported that the assault happened because the daughter, Chantol Gumbs, confronted a woman she suspected was having an affair with her father.

The court heard that on July 30, 2014 Mr Gumbs met his daughter at their Fat Hog’s Bay residence and accused her of being disrespectful to his ‘lady friend’.

The daughter reportedly described the woman as a “wh*re”.

The retired cop reportedly pushed and hit his daughter several times. The court was told that he also threw her belongings outside and threatened to unjustly imprison her.

The daughter reported the attack to the police.

When questioned by law enforcement officers about the incident, Mr Gumbs reportedly said: “My daughter was very disrespectful to me; so I disciplined her… I asked her to leave [my residence]; so I assisted her.”

He was then charged.

Two convictions not recorded recently

By BVI New Online’s count, Senior Magistrate Richards ordered only one non-recording of conviction in recent times. That is the matter which involved Avery Malone – the fireman who was charged for assaulting police, being armed with an offensive weapon, and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced last year.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo made a similar order last year in the matter against French-speaking visitor Laurant Vanderbrouke, who local authorities found with an unlicensed firearm aboard his vessel.

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