Update: Appeal Court Throws Out Penn-O'Neal Case

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 4 Opinions
Published: July 10, 2017 7:57 am AST
Mrs Irene Penn O Neal
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The Court of Appeal has struck off its list, the gun case against former legislator, Mrs. Irene Penn-O'Neal, her daughter Zubida O'Neal, and Shameek Grant.

BVI Platinum News understands that when the matter was called yesterday, Monday, July 10 in Chambers, lawyers for the accused raised several concerns, including that the case appeared on the Appeal Court's list on three previous occasions, without the prosecution providing grounds for the appeal.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had appealed the magisterial decision, and was seeking for the Court of Appeal to overturn the not guilty verdict for the trio.

However, following the arguments put forward yesterday, the Court of Appeal removed the matter indefinitely.

Previous Article Published July 10, 2017 - Prosecution Pursues Irene Penn-O'Neal

In a move viewed in some quarters as a witch hunt, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Office is seeking for the Appeal Court to quash the not guilty verdict, in the gun case involving former legislator, Mrs. Irene Penn-O'Neal, her daughter Zubida O'Neal, and Shameek Grant.

BVI Platinum News understands that the case is expected to come up today, Monday, July 10, when the Court of Appeal sits at the High Court.

Penn-O'Neal is a former Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) candidate and legislator, and contested both the 2011 and 2015 elections.

On July 24, 2015, just under two months after the June elections, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards handed down not guilty verdicts for all three persons, in relation to guns and ammunition found at Penn-O'Neal's Pockwood Pond home in October 2014.

Richards had noted that she accepted the testimonies of the accused persons during the trial to be true, that they had no knowledge of the weapons in the home.

From the inception, Penn-O'Neal's son, Cordell O'Neal took ownership of the weapons immediately, and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to seven years and ten months in prison for the guns and ammunition.

Cordell had told police during the operation at the Pockwood Pond home, that his mother had no knowledge of the guns. However, the crown had decided to proceed with the charges against Penn-O'Neal, Zubida and Grant.

At the trial, Penn-O'Neal was represented by Attorney-at-Law Mrs. Valerie Stephens-Gordon, Zubida by Mr. Leroy Jones, and Grant by Ruthilia Maximea.

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