BVI News

West End women slapped with additional charge months after arrest

Caroline Hodge-Clarke and DJanne Varlack

The two West End women allegedly caught with more than 700 grams of cannabis and $24,980 three months ago have been slapped with an additional charge.

Initially, 39-year-old Caroline Hodge-Clarke and 22-year old DJanne Varlack were only charged with possession of a controlled drug. But, ‘possession of proceeds of criminal conduct’ was recently added to their charge sheet.

They were not made to plead to that additional charge when they appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo last week.

Arguments

The court heard that due to the circumstances under which the aforesaid
$24,980 cash was found, the inference was drawn that the money was likely to be proceeds of crime.

This inference was made despite defence attorney Nelson Samuel providing payment slips from different construction firms and other employers who could vouch that the funds were legitimately earned by the duo.

Should the cash be detained?

During the accused women’s latest court appearance last week, the Crown (prosecutors) and the defence were at loggerheads over the detainment of the said funds.

The Crown argued they had made an oral application for the funds to be detained when the accused women were first arraigned back in December.

They further argued that the then sitting Magistrate Shawn Innocent accepted the application and requested that it be done in writing. A subsequent written application was done on December 18.

However, the defence disputed that claim of the oral application. The court, however, was unable to retrieve its recording to determine whether the Crown had in fact made the oral application.

As such, both the Crown and the defence are now required to provide previous court cases where no applications were made for the detention of an accused person’s cash.

The funds will remain in police custody until the court is able to decide on the way forward. The accused women will return to court on April 16.

Allegations

The court heard that police, acting on a tip, intercepted the accused women who were driving in Hannah’s Estate area of Tortola.

Hodge-Clarke was the driver while Varlack was a passenger in the vehicle, the court heard.

During the search, police uncovered the drugs in their possession totalling to 741 grams with a street value of $7,410.

One day later armed with a search warrant, the cash was found at their Belmont home in a single bag behind a mirror in the bedroom of the house.

When questioned, Hodge-Clarke reportedly told police: “That’s my life savings.”

The court heard that Varlack added: “Officer, we worked hard for that money doing all kinds of jobs.”

Police also found another four grams of cannabis which Hodge-Clark allegedly claimed as her own.

The drugs and the money were confiscated for investigation purposes.

Attorney Nelson Samuel and Stephen Daniels represent the accused women.

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17 Comments

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  1. equal rights and justice says:

    No discrimination in the BVI…Everyone has rights including gays and homosexuals

    Like 4
    Dislike 15
  2. Wow says:

    “This inference was made despite defence attorney Nelson Samuel providing payment slips from different construction firms and other employers who could vouch that the funds were legitimately earned by the duo.”

    This is really some nonsense!!!

    Like 21
  3. ndp heckler says:

    I wonder if Penn will provide character witness for this one also????

    Like 8
    Dislike 14
  4. vi says:

    Sorry, but that aint no w—– in the front.

  5. Wow says:

    Who are these people, bout them from West End. I live west all my life and never see this duo b4 now. Wey dem really from?

    Like 19
    Dislike 6
  6. Hmph says:

    Y’all mean to tell me those are women? I can’t even focus on the news.

  7. What’s your Gender? says:

    Dee girlz moving heavy in the streets.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Something really wrong with all you people. Bible in one hand and a gun in the next….These WOMEN are Gods creation and HE said those without sin may cast!!! If you are not God then shut the **** up!!!!

  9. God=Judge&Maker says:

    Something really wrong with all you people. Bible in one hand and a gun in the next….These WOMEN are Gods creation and HE said those without sin may cast!!! If you are not God then shut the **** up!!!!

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