Nevis Police not involved
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – UNLIKE the report carried by many media houses, including SKNVibes, concerning the leaking of a sex tape to the public by police officers of the Nevis Division, investigations revealed that no officer on that island was involved and it was done by members of the defunct Delta Squad which was under the control of former Commissioner of Police Celvin ‘CG’ Walwyn.
Two days ago (Mar. 21), Resident Judge, Her Ladyship Justice Lorraine Williams had awarded EC$500,000 in damages to a couple who had filed a constitutional motion against the State.
According to the couple’s legal counsel, Attorney-at-Law Angelina Gracy Sookoo of the Law Offices of Sylvester Anthony, the motion was filed for breach of their constitutional rights, not to be arbitrarily searched, for having their property taken from them without their consent, and for breaching their privacy by the unconsented distribution of their sex tape.
It was published that a young man was apprehended by police on Nevis sometime in 2013 on suspicion of a robbery, and while in custody at the Charlestown Police Station, officers took the young man’s cell phone, removed the memory card and accessed the contents on one of the station’s computer. However, in so doing, the officers came across a video recording of the young man and his girlfriend engaged in sexual acts.
Reportedly, the police officers then downloaded the video to their cell phones and disseminated it to a number of individuals, which went viral on social media and various cell phone apps.
In that video, only the lower parts of the male’s anatomy were visible while his girlfriend’s face was fully-exposed.
The couple got wind of it and, as a consequence, they filed a motion against the State – the Attorney-General and the Commissioner of Police.
The matter was heard before the said judge in December last and judgment was handed down on Monday.
In handing down her 12-page judgment, Justice Williams condemned the egregious act perpetrated by agents of the State (Police Officers) and awarded the female EC$350,000 and the male EC$150,000 in damages.
While discussing the matter with a source, this publication learned that the act was not perpetrated by officers of the Nevis Division but by two members of the defunct Delta Squad, one of whom is no longer in the Force.
Coming out of that discussion, SKNVibes decided to contact Deputy Commissioner Hilroy Brandy in an effort to ascertain the information as well as find out if disciplinary action was taken against the accused officers.
Brandy, who is known to have been one of the few Senior Officers not in favour of the manner in which Walwyn conducted the affairs of the Police Force and did not adhere to many of his directives, informed that during the time of the incident he was the Superintendent with Responsibility for Operations and the Division was under the command of Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Robert Liburd.
He vented his displeasure over the headlines carried by many media houses involving that Division and stressed that reporters should have first contacted the High Command to verify where the accused officers were stationed at the time of the incident.
It was however explained to him that media representatives were not at the hearing because the case was tried in camera and the findings were revealed by the claimants’ attorney.
Giving his account of the scandal, Brandy said, “This thing happened since 2013 and I was not in charge of the Division then. No police officer in Nevis had disseminated any sex tape. The then Commissioner, ‘CG’ Walwyn, had people coming to Nevis to perform duties and no Senior Officer in Nevis could have said or do anything to them. They would come over here on Thursdays and return to St. Kitts on Mondays.”
Brandy declared that prior to the incident, he was against the Commissioner sending ranks to conduct operations in Nevis without his knowledge and that he had complained to the Commander of that Division how things were arbitrarily done.
“I spoke to Mr. Liburd who was the Division’s Commander and I told him that I would not take part in what the Commissioner is doing arbitrarily. I clearly stated that all of us are police officers and we all fall under the same disciplinary body and the rules and regulations relate to all of us, so no Constable will come to Nevis and operate and I as the Superintendent am not aware. If you are the Assistant Commissioner and you are embracing that, I will not. So you can tell the Commissioner of Police that I say I am not embracing that.
“I also told him that if people come over here and I have to provide transportation, gasoline and other things, I must be aware of what’s going on. I further told him that if anything goes wrong I will be blamed because I am the Officer Responsible for Operations in Nevis.”
Brandy explained that what he said was relayed to the Commissioner by Liburd and he (Walwyn) went over to Nevis where they were engaged in a standoff.
Recapping what occurred on the day of the sex tape incident, Brandy noted that a man was in custody at the Charlestown Police Station assisting them with investigations into a robbery.
He stated that some members of the Delta Squad, including a Recruit, went over to Nevis on the instruction of Commissioner Walwyn.
“They searched some people and they found them with a phone which was locked. One of my officers told them that they could not take the people’s phone and they said the Commissioner gave them permission to do that.
“One of them called me and I told him not to interfere with the people’s phone. They informed the Commissioner of what I said and his reply was: ‘Oh…is a long time you don’t like Delta Squad. They trying to do their work, they come to serve at my pleasure and not at your pleasure.’ I said, ‘Sir, this thing that is going on is not at my pleasure, rules are there and they must followed. If they do not follow the rules I will have to take action.’ He responded: ‘You heard what I said? They serve at my pleasure and not at your pleasure.’ I then said to him, ‘Fine, we will see.’”
Brandy told this publication that the two individuals involved in the scandal were a Constable and a Recruit and that he had preferred charges against them.
“I preferred charges against the Constable from Delta Squad and the Recruit, and when he (Walwyn) saw it in the Morning Report he came across to Nevis and called me. I told him that I did what I had to do, I did what the law allows me to do, I follow the law and if you don’t like it you can do otherwise, but I will have my documentation to show what action I took.
“He said: ‘Why didn’t you charge the Recruit alone?’ I told him that it would be unfair to charge the Recruit alone because he is not a trained police officer, but it was a trained officer of the Delta Squad who instructed him to download the contents on the phone because he was more computer savvy. He cracked the code, went in, saw the sex tape and other stuff and the Constable put it on his phone.”
He said the matter is still pending and one of the officers has since left the Force.
Deputy Commissioner Hilroy Brandy emphatically stated that during the former Commissioner’s tenure, he had never tried a disciplinary matter and “so what we are reaping now is what CG Walwyn left”.