Dominican teen thanks BVI judge for not imposing jail sentence

Bernard is a Dominican residing in the BVI

BVI NEWS ONLINE: “Thank you ma’am,” uttered Dominican national to the judge as he left the High Court on Thursday morning, after being granted a two-year suspended sentence for burglary.

Nineteen-year-old Vernon Bernard during his mitigation begged Judge Rita Joseph-Olivetti for a second chance.

“I will take into consideration the chance that you begged for… I will take you at your word,” Judge Olivetti told the , 19, school drop-out.

She also explained that since she took into account the financial burden of his mother – a single parent – a fine will not be imposed.

Bernard was one of the individuals implicated in the break-in of Road Town Police Station which took palce on November 28, 2009.

According to Crown Counsel Valston Graham Bernard was the driver of the vehicle that transported other individuals who broke in the police station with the aim to steal seized motorbikes.

He was caught after evading police in Huntums Ghut.

According to a police press release, during the wee hours of Saturday morning [November 28], an officer at the police station discovered one of the perpetrators with his face covered holding a bolt cutter on the premises, but the individual fled the scene as the officer sought assistance.

The release had further stated that preliminary investigations indicated that three perpetrators entered the premises by cutting through the perimeter barrier in the back of the compound.

A fourth male remained in a get-away car. The cutter and the get-a-way car used in the incident were recovered and analyzed by the Scene of Crime Unit.

On March 22, 2010 Bernard pleaded to the offence. He was represented by Patrick Thompson.

– Aneka Edwards, Staff reporter

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  1. Truth Teller
    March 6, 2018

    8 years later, and this young man has now masterminded a murder in the same BVI where he was pardoned. Wow…..

  2. wil
    April 5, 2010

    I believe in giving people a second chance if the convince me that they will make a positive change. In the US, that young man would be negatively branded for life if he pleaded guilty – he would have a record that he would have to legally disclose before he gets a job, etc etc. I think the US system is very unforgiving, and I was please to see a judge with a heart in Tortola. I hope that young man make a positive change and use that second chance, and I hope that help is in place to facilitate any positive endeavors.

  3. Anonymous
    April 5, 2010

    not play the school

  4. Wii
    April 4, 2010

    NEways, we really a nation full of Casting 1st stones, but the truth about that is we need to be our brothers’ keeper. Pray for the young men of Dominica. Pray. I’m 30 & I need prayers too. Justice…pray, we could all fall short at some time in our lives.


    • Justice
      April 5, 2010

      Cast stones alone! We need to kill him cold with de stones. Twey chowohee . Vieux pardiee ..

    April 3, 2010

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!Crime by Dominicans are getting up the ladder. We must encourage our children to do the right things. Guess what? Do they listen, NO. We do talk to our children, they make up their own minds. We tell them don’t do this and don’t do that, they say ‘I hear you’ but are they really listening, NO. All in all, the young kids should be in school and not depending on their parents for support and when their parents cannot give them what they WANT the do the alternative. I say, be careful kids, think of your parents and not of YOURSELVES.

  6. Dr. Finger
    April 3, 2010

    To Songre: Satan is everywhere so no need to blame him for holding this perpertrator’s hand and forcing him commit the crime.

    This judge surely has not taken the “criminal control perspective” in her sentencing. Arguably, this would have served better justice in this case seeing the trend of crime in the region. Having said that, I hope he learns from his mistake and seek rehabilitation if needed as he moves forward in life. The best of luck to him and his loved ones. Just maybe, in the next 5 years I will read of him becoming the Tortolan Ambassador to the UN. Wishful thinking maybe, but where hope and determination coupled with Dominican pride persists anything positive can happen.

    April 2, 2010

    This is just another thing to make Tolians hate Dominicans more. I have Dominican parents and a Dominica passport, I love DOMINICA.

    But u see this thing when they just go anywhere and commit crimes this is not a good thing.! Tortolians have already hated Dominicans and this boy’s case just made it worst.

    This case has caused an uproar!

    I love Dominicans,Hate Tolians but this s*** is enough!!!

    These people need to stop embarrassing Dominica, Be ambassadors instead of criminals or ghetto rats.

    ITs really hurting to see this lovely country get so much bad name.every corner it has some rotten egg tainting the airwaves with their stench.’

    • Justice
      April 3, 2010

      I say destroy the spoit eggs before they start to smell!

  8. Songre
    April 2, 2010

    Great story DNO!. I am elated once again that this Judge has tempered mercy in a case again. I am one of the Individuals who have followed this Judge quite extensively especially with her rulings and I must tell you she is a practical person who has a heart while maintaining the rule of law.
    Many of you may not find this case intriguing but I certainly do because I know of many cases of foreigners in other Jurisdictions that have be given a very bad rap to say the least, e.g lives have been destroyed. My prayers go this family especially the Mother who stuck there in the midst of all of this and prison is not always the answer as this point was raised earlier by a commenter/contributor below.
    I observed that has been an upsurge in Dominicans recently committing crime or seems to be involve in illegal activities outside of their Country especially where these Countries are reforming and adjusting their immigration policies which I can tell you has been updated almost immediately and they know this yet they commit these acts of crime to give our country a bad name and I am totally dumbfounded to say the least knowing the consequences.
    In Antigua a Country who has such a great relationship with Dominica over the decades where over 12,000 dominicans resides is just one of those example I had to conclude it’s Satan causing this because Murder, Grevious Bodily Harm and larceny are some of those being dealt with. An uheard thing here in the past. Please, I ask Dominicans to pray for their Fellow Men all over and the World especially in the Caribbean, These Countries have been so good to us all over. In closing nuff respect to Justice Olivetti and the young man who have been given a second chance,I hope you learn from this because this was a very serious crime and your probation sentence was nothing short of a miracle.
    God Bless Dominica and it’s people. Thanks DNO.

  9. Rain
    April 2, 2010

    I agree that he should not do jail tiime but how about community service….don’t seem that he is employed so time is not an issue for is the mlillion dollar question. if this guy would help break into a police station something tells me that it’s not his first time breaking into a house or other establishment…first time he got caught…these kids are too bold and have no respect for authority. He got off too lightly… Just my two cents

  10. en ba la
    April 2, 2010

    This kid needs a brain scan. He transported people to break into a police station to steal seized motorbikes. Good golly!! He did not actually do the breaking in but young man I HOPE YOU LEARN. Being an “accessory to crime” is not an excuse but you sure prove that teens these days are not mature mentally. Your thought process is really impaired -work on it, mine is slow I admit.

  11. DA4LYFE
    April 1, 2010

    Dominicans getting gangster now breaking into police station…LOL….That guy is no rhode scholar giving Dominicans a bad name in BVI.There are so many people in Dominica who would like to have the opportunity to study in BVI/USA/CANADA/UK and those guys/females ( a lot of dominicans do stupid ish abroad you be surprise) just throw that opportunity away because some of them want to assimilate to that country culture losing sight of their true purpose in that country…


    • Efrem Ravariere
      April 2, 2010

      They should have burst his head, think about it, this brother drop out of high school, only God knows what he did before breaking in the police station, and of all places police station, bringing on such embarassment on his poor mother that is trying only to survive in another man land. there are some stupid people that never take into consideration what this idiot has probably alredy put his mother through. BURST HIS HEAD. THAT FOOL.

  12. April 1, 2010


    • Efrem Ravariere
      April 2, 2010


  13. April 1, 2010

    well mercy on you bro, I do hope that you learn from that and do something real good with you life.
    cheerse to you may god have mercy on your sole.

  14. Greg
    April 1, 2010


    Jail is not the answer, He admitted eh did wrong and needed a second chance. We all deserve a chance in life and he was granted that. I don’t know the guy but i am happy that another young man was spare a jail sentence for petty crime. And to to the guy i hope he learn from his silly mistake and pick his self up and dust his selff off.

    • Wii
      April 1, 2010

      100% agree. We are too fast to judge and want to see others punished. We all ask for second chances in life, but it’s what we do with these chances that really says something about us. Time to become a real man my boy. Step up.

      • justice
        April 1, 2010

        I hope he steps up! but I would encourage the two strike you are out rule ..

        • Dominica's Future
          April 2, 2010

          Alas… true… I hope he buck up after that second chance!

  15. justice
    April 1, 2010

    I really think the judge should have sent him to jail for at least 5 years. There motive was t o get guns to commit higher crimes. These young men are criminal and they should be in jail. He should have thought about his mother before he got implicated in this. The fact that he is a high dropout and mostly likely unemployed does not help his case. He is of no use to his mother. Why does she have to pay a fine that he incurred. The logic is lacking in this one. I am fed up of these fools going out there and making it hard for other promising Dominicans. They need to send clear messages by making examples. Let’s see how he deals with his second chance..

    • Wii
      April 1, 2010

      The article clearly says they were after motorbikes. How can you cry for justice for something they were not interested in. READ before you just judge!

      • justice
        April 1, 2010

        Youneed to be locked up to be soo stupid to even defend their actions. I am sure those criminals wanted more than just bikes. You and they need to be jailed..

    • pageantlover
      April 1, 2010

      I hope you have kids then you should know how the mother feels. How can you say “he is of no use to his mother” at least have some respect and stop judging. It it true he needs to pay for his doing but give a second chance but do not spare him next time

      • justice
        April 1, 2010

        Whoever you are, he is better off dead. Nothing but worthless criminal. I am sure the police are regretting they did not kill him. Better luck next time…

        April 2, 2010


    • wesleyman
      April 1, 2010

      @Justice, Did it occur to you that this young man is a human being, a child of God and an imperfect person before he is a Dominican. All this fake pride in a country where young men commit crimes just like those causes me to want to vomit. Stop the nonsense and fave pride, people are people no matter where they are from and no matter where they end up living, my admonishion for this young man is an echo of the sentiments of most people here “Take this as a second chance to better yourself, not because you are a Dominican, but because you are a child of God and a fellow human being with your whole life ahead of you”. God bless you young man, try to make your mother proud, try to get a good trade and make good use of your time and talents. Pay no attention to the negativity.

      • justice
        April 1, 2010

        Wesley whatever you are … continue with the vail over your eyes . Youw ill be the next victim and you may not be so lucky to live to tell it. I see Wesley has quite a crime rate right now. It is just a matter of time till you are affected. Zero tolerence on criminals . Jail and hang them all !

        • Efrem Ravariere
          April 2, 2010

          what is wrong with these guys from D.A. in tortola, they make all dominicans in the region look bad. These idiots need to be taken care of. the last time I check the news a dominican was being tried in tortola for murder, bloody idiots, hang them all, bunch of fools.

          • TORTOLA BOI
            April 2, 2010

            THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!


            THEFT(2 cases)

            Its like them man on a rampage to finish kill Dominica. But they fail to realise that when they do this, is deported they getting deported, So is back Dominica them gah go!

            THESE IDIOTS

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • my 2 cents
          April 5, 2010

          one thing u have a lot of negativity and anger inside you. we all deserve a second chance and if u read the article, it stated that no fine was imposed on his single mother. he should be punished but jail time is not always the best punishment as there is no rehabilitation really.

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