Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
After petitions from his lawyer and employer, Wayne Carter, 35, was spared jail time and a maximum fine for failing to renew his work permit.
Carter, a native of Guyana pleaded guilty to remaining in the Territory after the period granted. He was fined $500.00 or two months in prison. The maximum sentence for the offence is twelve months in prison or $1,000 fine.
At today's hearing, June 15, Carter's lawyer Stephen Daniels said his client has been living in the BVI for ten years and has been employed at K-Mart, also known as OneMart.
Daniels said his client's employer is willing and ready to renew their relationship in terms of employment. The court was provided with a letter from proprietor, the Minister of Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool.
Daniels said Carter has also apologized to the Chief Immigration Officer, Mr. Dennis Jennings, where he outlined the circumstances that led him to commit to the offence.
According to Daniels, due to his mother's illness, Carter sacrificed renewing his work permit. He said Carter's mother would usually travel to St. Thomas, but due to this incident, he is unable to travel with her.
A letter from the hospital was also submitted to the court which supported what Daniels stated in relation to Carter's mother.
Daniels further stated that Carter is the sole caregiver for his mother and currently, there is an $11,000.00 bill to be paid to the institution for her healthcare; and his client has promised to pay the monies owed on his mother's behalf.
Carter also has two children on Tortola, age 4 and a 7 month-old. Daniels said they too depend on him for transportation and support.
Daniels urged that the court exercise leniency and not give him a custodial sentence or record a conviction.
The lawyer stated that his employer [Hon. Vanterpool] has put certain things in place for him to continue to be in the Territory.
Senior Magistrate Valerie Stephens said she took into account what was stated by Minister Vanterpool in the letter and also the hospital. However, she said that Carter is an intelligent man and should have known better. Stephens then handed down her sentence of $500.00 or two months in prison.