Ramon George (L) and Courtney Meade
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
High Court Judge, Justice Albert Redhead today, July 23 sentenced Courtney Meade and Ramon George to 20 years imprisonment for their role in the daring early morning break-in at the Road Town Police Station in November, 2010.
Both men pleaded guilty in the High Court on May 8 to aggravated burglary and carrying an unlicensed firearm. The charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm committed against an officer Kevin Prince, who was injured in the attack, was not put to the men.
In sentencing the men, Justice Redhead told them that they embarked on a serious and very dangerous mission on the night in question when they entered the Road Town Station masked.
"It showed that you have no regard for authority, because as your lawyer said, it is the last bastion...the Police and Police Station are there to protect every individual in this country and when you went in there to do whatever you wanted to do, you compromised the security of this country," the Judge stated.
The Judge said he took into consideration the age of the men, they pleaded guilty and it was their first offence.
"It is my duty to send a message," the Judge stated.
Meade was represented by Richard Rowe, while George was represented by Patrick Thompson. Both men are United States citizen and were age 22 at the time of the offence.
Rowe said that he was instructed by his client, Meade, that he was of the understanding that he was going to the station to retrieve motorcycles.
Thompson also presented that his client must have received instructions from other persons and could not have come up with the idea on his own, given his previous good character. Thompson also presented the court with written letters, one from a retired Judge in the USVI, which Justice Redhead found to be unusual and unethical.
Four men were initially charged in relation to the station break-in. Gerald Huggins, who investigators said did not enter the station, but was involved, was acquitted earlier this year by a jury. Kareem Simon, who pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by High Court Judge, Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti on April 3.
The Prosecution, represented by Senior Crown Counsel Sarah Benjamin, said that Meade and George along with another man entered the station and disabled CCTV cameras. She said that they were masked to conceal their identities and were armed with guns and a crowbar.
She said that during the incident, Constable Prince was injured and is currently receiving psychological treatment.