BVI News

Unjust! Legislator concerned that looter sentenced to 2 years for stealing TV

Opposition legislator Alvera Maduro-Caines

Calling for an assessment of the local judicial system which she suggested was flawed, Sixth District Representative Alvera Maduro-Caines has raised concerns about the two-year sentence handed down to Shamoii Dagou for looting a television set after Hurricane Imra.

The opposition legislator, who was speaking in the House of Assembly on Thursday, said more leniency should have been given to the first-time offender.

“While I do not condone crime, I find the sentencing of that time to be a bit harsh considering there were other persons who were caught looting at the time and were given community service,” Maduro-Caines argued.

She proceeded to ask: “What is the difference between him and the others? Why was this case taken to the High Court when the other cases were held in the Magistrate’s Court? Was he chosen to be an example and why? This was a young man who had no previous records at all. [He was a] good basketball player who has represented us in different basketball tournaments. I repeat myself, I am not condoning crime. When you do a crime, you should be punished [but] what about rehab?”

The legislator further suggested that it was unjust of the court to have imprisoned an offender — who is ‘not a menace to society’ — for stealing a television set valued only $286.76.

“Why [did the court aslo] impose that he has to pay for the television when he doesn’t have the television? The television was confiscated. So, I tend to question a lot of things that went down in this young man’s case. Yes, punish him. But it does not add up. Some got community service, for the same thing or worse than he did and now he has to serve time in Balsam Gut.”

Overhaul our judiciary

She also stressed on the need for an overhaul of the current judicial system as it relates to young males.

“There are somethings in the judiciary system that we have to look into and get changed. There need to be more rehab sentences going down for some of our younger men who commit small crimes.”

Dagou, a resident of Belle Vue, was sentenced by Justice Ann-Marie Smith to a total 26 months at Her Majesty’s Prison and ordered to pay the value of the television by January 31, 2020. He will serve an additional six months in prison if he fails to pay.

In handing down her sentence, Justice Smith said the offence was aggravated by the fact that it happened immediately after the onslaught of the 2017 natural disasters.

The court had also pointed to the fact that the offender worked as a messenger for the RVIPF at the time of the offence.

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  1. This looter says:

    Should have been locked up for life, sit down so call are destroying our society and our country by letting anyone getting away with theft and murder.

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    • @This Looter says:

      You cannot cast stones like that. I also DONOT condone or believe that anyone should help themselves to anything that does not belong to them however, the Judge seemed a bit harsh.Something is so wrong with the Court system in the BVI. A man killed his wife in the most brutal way got a lousy 10 years when he should have been sentenced to life.

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        He should consider himself lucky. They shoot looters most places. Like St Martin.

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        • @rubber duck says:

          We are not in St.Martin. And if that was the case, the other looters should also consider themselves lucky as well. I am very much against anyone who steals, down to my children, if they steal, there is a price they will pay from myself and their father for stealing. I think a fine, the value of the TV and mandatory Community service would have been sufficent punishment.

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    • Reply says:

      You are being unreasonable and absurd. Do you actually believe that someone who steals a television should go to prison for the rest of their lives?

      What sense does that make? Who benefits from such a sentence? That will be an excessive and disproportionate punishment
      that no magistrate should ever be allowed to impose.

      I am all with you relative to safeguarding our society and our country relative to crime, but we have to be fair in doing so.

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    • @This looter AKA damn fool says:

      How can anyone be locked up for life for stealing a TV. Yes, I agree what the Guy did was WRONG,but make him pay back the price/value of the TV and give him Community service.

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    • Just Saying says:

      She is correct in her observations. Justice must be fair. I read in the news of those persons who received community service for the SAME OFFENCE! What therefore, was given to the others should be given to this young man. I DO NOT condone crime but RIGHT is RIGHT and WRONG is WRONG. Why is it difference for him??? People of the BVI we MUST speak out when injustice like this is being done. Why is there justice without mercy?? Why him?? I don’t want to speculate on the reasons but is it because he is a BVI local?? The justice system is always in a hurry to give our young men a record. WHY?? This is the reason I have NO FAITH whatsoever in the BVI Justice System. They are well aware of what they are doing to our young men but I will say this. It may take a long time but I have seen KARMA in action and it reaches up to the third and fourth generation. Punish the young man, yes but what goes for the goose MUST go for the gander. His sentencing MUST be revised. By they way, I don’t know him, but I MUST speak up when I see WRONG!! SHALOM!!

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    • @This looter says:

      Soooo, if the man should be locked up for life for stealing a TV, then the wife killer and the other killers sitting in prison Should be sitting on death row waiting for their date with the electric chair, lethal injection,firing squad or the gallows.

    • what says:

      too light a sentence . Looting is done by the lowest of characters

  2. Reply says:

    I am not one to condone crime either. Fact: over the years I have been blogging here, those who have committed crimes have gotten some of my harshest critique.

    I do believe as well that if you commit a crime, you should be punished, but the caveat is: you should be punished fairly.

    As such, I do not agree with this 2 year custodial sentence handed down to this young man, a first time offender, who apparently by other accounts was law abiding, and looted like so many others post hurricanes. Thus, I am in agreement with Sixth District Representative Alvera Maduro-Caines in this case.

    This custodial sentence was handed down by the same magistrate who sentence Lennox Da Silva with a six-and-a-half year prison sentence last week for killing his wife at their Greenland apartment roughly two years ago.

    Something is wrong with both these pictures. On the one hand, a person who just stole a tv appears to have been sentenced excessively, and the other who took a life got a slap on his wrist. IMO, justice and the community has not been served well in both cases.

    Comparatively speaking which is the worst crime?Stealing a tv or cutting ones wife throat in front of her kids until she dies? I think that answer is clear.

    Clearly this magistrate in my opinion does not have all her marbles lined up properly, and again I question her judgement in this case as I did in the Da Silva case, and wonder aloud if someone who makes these kinds of rulings deserves to remain on the bench.

    Da Silva needed more time, and this young man needed much less if not community service as others had received for the similar crime of looting.

    I am of the opinion that this custodial sentence in fairness should be appealed.

    I am also of the opinion that now that Sixth District Representative Alvera Maduro-Caines has now brought this matter before the House of Assembly, she should try to convince her colleagues to join her in successfully reforming the justice system which they have the power to do.

    When they do, also reform the laws relative to all these young men who have gotten caught with minor amounts of marijuana only to be fined severely or imprisoned. Their punishment often does not appear fair as well.

    As for the magistrate, I personally am not in favor of a renewal of her contract. It’s not up to me, but if I had the power, I would not renew her contract when it expires. These sentences simply do not make any sense to me.

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  3. Villa rentals says:

    You have got to be kidding me! Leverick Bay was wrecked by looters after the storm. There are now lots of things missing here and there. Someone needs to held accountable or we are going to keep seeing this stealing stuff as the new normal. If we want tourism to come back this stuff has to stop. If you don’t want to get jail time – don’t steal stuff.

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    • @Villa rentals says:

      Let us be honest and keep things real,don’t steal I can go for that.But, I am quite sure you have taken something that didnot belong to you.

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    • Ahhhh villa rentals says:

      How many office supplies you Have not stolen. Let’s be honest, if you are walking down the street and someone drop some money and they are not aware of it will you let the person know they drop money or will you pocket the money.

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    • THINK! says:

      villa rentals- you are so right. when you put your hand where it does not belong especially in a time of crisis you have to be ready to pay the price. Community service was far from the right punishment for others and God will deal with those not caught.

  4. Not Fair says:

    I donot condone stealing but,I think the judge was a bit to harsh. People have done worse and they end up with a slap on the wrist. This is only my opinion. Make him pay back the value of the TV and make him do mandatory Community Service for six months. I guess the Judge was having a bad day and she took it out on the guy.

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  5. notsorry says:

    why was he stealing a t.v when we had no electricity, he deserves more time or bing an idiot

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  6. Reply reply says:

    “and looted like so many others post hurricanes”..anyone sees something wrong with this? When are these people going to be named , shamed and locked up! Wait – cause they are “from here” it’s ok..

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    • @Reply reply says:

      Though some locals were involved in looting, everyone nationality was. However, lt appears that the majority were non locals, and that can hardly be disproved. Are they not in the majority of population? So did locals stole more disporportioat to their population size? Thinking yet?

      For example, every port of exit, for the first few months alone, saw excessive amounts of goods of all kinds being shipped out by sea and air, and accompanied out in suit cases. That is fact.

      Hence, it is not to far fetched to suggest that over five million dollars in looted goods were shipped out of this country after the aftermath of the destruction.

      So, when will the “not from here” be named, shamed and locked up?

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  7. VICKIE says:


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  8. VI says:

    I would bet my last dollar that this particular Judge has something personal going on with the young man or his parents

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    • Yes says:

      Like the Judge in Meek Mill case. She went after him for personal reasons and wanted to lock him up for something that he did when he was a teenager. The case was tossed out the other day.

  9. Ausar says:

    Good fo he!

    He shudda get ten years!!

    Stop thief!!

    And you, Mrs. Caines, need to leave the justice system alone because I didnt hear you squawk about that murderer, that got only SIX YEARS for the gruesome decapitation of his wife!!

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  10. Online Now says:

    There should be a set jail term for looters. It is such a low crime and examples should be set so it doesn’t happen again.

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  11. Asking for a friend says:

    What about the m n m boys who looted the Treseury? They still out free with pubs and grocery stores

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  12. Retired says:

    Complaining about the BVI justice system is like complaining about the weather – there is not much that BVI islanders can do about it. As long as the BVI is an overseas territory of the UK it must accept the appointed Governor from the Foreign Office and whoever that UK civil servant appoints to be the Deputy Governor. The entire BVI court system is administered by the Deputy Governor.

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  13. local says:

    it sad alot more was on tape n nothing was done to them smh…

    what about set of police officer who clean out A-Value in huntum ghut n rtw town?

  14. Rule of Law says:

    Members of the legislative arm of the government should not be making these types of comments against the judicial arm of Government. they tend to bring the judiciary into disrepute and is a big blow to the administration of justice, the rule of law and democracy and order in our territory. I hope senior legislators will have a word with the honorable member. The honourable member could have expressed her displeasure by bringing modern legislation to the House to address what she perceives to be ailing

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  15. Can’t believe says:

    What about the pastor who was caught with the television and he was to do community service and has not done none up to this day it had real looters call no name get no blame

    Like 10
  16. ndp heckler says:

    She says nothing in the house, always abstaining or absent from voting. Now she here playing Marsha Clark trying to protect one of her constituents from a crime filled district

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  17. Laws says:

    This same legislator was in the house and voted on the harsher penalties for looting when the laws were recently updated. Amnesia?

  18. Eagle eye says:

    The reason they can’t carry all the looters to court is because Balo dont have enough talking about 3/4 of Tortola population was looting.nuf said blessed.

    • looting POLICE says:

      There were police officers I heard were looting. heard they apoligised and kept their jobs…..l***a working directly with the cop, the auxillary, the 2 smiths…yet they want t prosecute B*****y for looting. Those are the people need to do time

  19. Guest says:

    There is legal recourse in this matter if one is dissatisfied with the court’s ruling. (The court has an appellate jurisdiction). Bashing the judge in this manner is not the correct or decent thing to do.

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  20. :) says:

    Looting a less than $300 tv should only be punishable by probation and or a fine. The cost of feeding him for 2 years for such a petty crime is a crime unto itself. The jail need the room for more serious offenders not a first time petty thief. The place was already damaged so it’s not like they broke into the place with the intent to steal. The judge did a terrible job weighing the circumstances of the crime. All eyes are on the other pending looting cases including the one with the repeat offender.

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  21. Crime don't fit the time says:

    H*ll, I am willing to pay the damn value of the TV. Yes, the sentence was to harsh. How is it you send Someone to jail for for 2 years for taking a TV.

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  22. Lovely says:

    This is crazy but what’s more you take one side of a case don’t know lie or true and give this man 6 months for killing his wife you all think it’s right God is not sleeping the dead woman can’t talk so you all free the husband rest in peace lady all you wicked

  23. @Lovely says:

    I am with you on this. In a few short years the killer will walk the streets like a free bird after he sentenced two children to a life of H’ll without their mother who he took away from them. There is no love more powerful than a mother’s love for her children and he strip those children from experiencing that.

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  24. Save time says:

    Looters should be shot. Great deterrent. Works every time.

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  25. what says:

    too light a sentence . Looting is done by the lowest of characters

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