Saturday, February 28, 2004

BVI: BVI Gov't loses personal injury suit

In what could turn out to be the most expensive personal injury case in the history of the British Virgin Islands, London's Privy Council this week ordered the BVI government to pay damages for negligence by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in the shooting injury of an English visitor here ten years ago.

On 2nd February 1994, between 10.30pm and 11pm, Police Constable Kelvin Laurent unlawfully shot and injured Mr. Craig Hartwell with a police service revolver at the Bath and Turtle Pub at The Valley, Virgin Gorda, causing him serious bodily injury, loss and damage.

According to the particulars of the case, on 2nd February, 2004, Laurent, who was still on probation, was the sole police officer stationed on Jost Van Dyke. It was the last day of his 3-day tour of duty on the island. During the event, Laurent abandoned his post, left the island, taking with him the police revolver and ammunition, went by boat to Tortola and then to the Bath and Turtle bar and restaurant in Virgin Gorda, where his partner or former partner and mother of his two children, Lucianne Lafond, worked as a waitress.

At about 10.30pm, he entered the bar and found Hickey Vanterpool, who, so it was said, was associating with Ms. Lafond.

Without further ado and without any warning, Laurent fired four shots with his police service revolver. He was apparently intent on maiming Mr. Vanterpool and possibly, Ms. Lafond herself.
The case will now go back to the High Court for damages to be evaluated.

So the BVI government must pay because a police officer got a horn. Most likely, Ms. Lafond sang a version of the chorus from Sparrow's Sweeter Than You for PC Laurent:
I appreciate everything that you do for me,
Sorry I have to leave you, but c'est la vie.
Sorry to be unfaithful, sorry to be untrue
But if he sweeter than you,
What you want me do?
Lesson from this: when you get horned, take it like a man.


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