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Controversial Magistrate sends Violet ‘Letty’ Hodge to prison for 6 years

- Many in the community are outraged because Mrs Hodge is said to not be in good health
Controversial magistrate Ayanna O. Baptiste DaBreo (left) has sentenced Virgin Islands horse racing icon Violet 'Letty' Hodge to six years in prison for alleged conspiracy to import cocaine. Photo: LinkedIn/VINO
Mrs Violet 'Letty' Hodge, who for years made sterling contributions to horse racing in the Virgin Islands, is expected to appeal her sentence of imprisonment at Her Majesty's Prison. Photo: VINO/File
Mrs Violet 'Letty' Hodge, who for years made sterling contributions to horse racing in the Virgin Islands, is expected to appeal her sentence of imprisonment at Her Majesty's Prison. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In a heavily guarded Road Town Police Station, horse racing legend and businesswomen Mrs Violet 'Letty' Hodge was today September 12, 2016 sentenced to six years in prison and fined $100,000 by controversial Magistrate Ayanna O. Baptiste DaBreo of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to Magistrate DeBreo, the $100,000 fine is to be paid within two months or the former President of the BVI Horse Owners' Association, Mrs Hodge, will spend an additional six months at Her Majesty’s Prison located at Balsam Ghut on the main island of Tortola.

It remains unclear why the court proceeding was held at the Road Town Police Station. Last year, following a lengthy trial, Mrs Hodge was found NOT guilty of possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition, and NOT guilty of money laundering.

However, she was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine, after persons in United States penitentiary who it was said was trying to ‘save themselves”, testified against her.

Mrs Hodge, the co-owner with her husband Earl 'Bob' Hodge of the popular L & B Racing Stables at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay, was represented by prominent United Kingdom attorney Julian Knowles QC and local attorney Patrick Thompson.

Mrs Hodge, who was just this year named the Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival parade marshal, continues to maintain her innocence and has been consistent in denying the allegations.

Her attorneys are expected to appeal the sentence.

VI reacts

Many in the community believe the sentence is too harsh in light that Mrs Hodge is reported not to be in good health. Others believe she was just used as a scapegoat for others they could not get.

Others have praised Mrs Hodge for her outstanding contributions to sports and culture over the years by keeping horse racing in the Greater Virgin Islands alive, both as a horse owner and the President of the organisation.

For many years, Mrs Hodge had one of the biggest troupes in the annual Tortola August Monday Parade and had sponsored many social and sporting activities.

Justice or abuse of power?

The controversial Magistrate Ayanna O. Baptiste DaBreo, who handed down the sentence, made news last month when she ordered a prominent businessman, a son of the soil and former Permanent Secretary to be sent to jail after he missed a court date but produced a medical certificate some three days before the hearing, confirming that he was ill and therefore not able to attend court.

It is reported that a lawsuit was filed against the Magistrate but all parties are tight-lipped.

68 Responses to “Controversial Magistrate sends Violet ‘Letty’ Hodge to prison for 6 years”

  • Vincy heritage out of the VI (12/09/2016, 21:50) Like (10) Dislike (57) Reply
    Don't mess with we Vincentians and suh!
    • Sadly (12/09/2016, 22:42) Like (43) Dislike (12) Reply
      She is not getting her bread and butter from Vincy and suh!
      • Vincy heritage out of the VI (13/09/2016, 11:01) Like (9) Dislike (14) Reply
        That's why BVIslanders will complain about expats taken their jobs. Haha.
    • island girl (12/09/2016, 22:47) Like (13) Dislike (53) Reply

      Such sh*t. Common this wonan is a great woman and i believe that truly abuse of power. The woman is not in good health. Nice wonderful person i prY god it work out.

    • please (13/09/2016, 06:59) Like (59) Dislike (13) Reply
      Man please go fire your A"" with that S""t about don't mess with we whatever you all are. You all are in our Country. Take that mess back where you all come from.
      • @Please (13/09/2016, 11:16) Like (10) Dislike (14) Reply
        Tortola was constructed by locals ?? I didn't know you all could of build islands no continents because it seems here is the biggest continent in the world
        • Goodness (13/09/2016, 14:27) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
          You know what, whoever you are you need to take your behind back to some kind of school. Your comment is stupid. PLEASE is telling the truth. The truth always hurt.
    • ???? (13/09/2016, 07:11) Like (47) Dislike (13) Reply
      Keep your comment to your self about don't mess with we Vincentians. Tortola did you all a favor and let you all in here. Be grateful. Don't bite the hand that feed. Don't disturb a sleeping ants nest with your stupid comment
    • TORTOLIAN (13/09/2016, 07:31) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
      @Vincy heritage out of the VI, just sit back and see just how stupid that comment you made sound. What does that have to do with anything. Your comment is going to cause a lot of tension between your people and my Tortolian people (AN SUH) sounds like you are gloating because your homie sent Letty to prison for 6 years.
    • Really? (13/09/2016, 10:28) Like (17) Dislike (10) Reply
      @Vincy heritage out of the VI, No, you have it twisted. Don't mess with we Tortolians you Skeet. You are in our Country. No one asked you all to come here with your cardboard board box/old suitcase tied up with rope on LIAT. You think you the S""t now because you can eat decent now. Go marinate on what I said. You ignorant fool. Remember, you are in our Country, no one asked or invite you here.
      • sad (13/09/2016, 11:20) Like (41) Dislike (4) Reply
        You morons missed the topic and wasted your energy on someone trying to stir division with an anonymous screen name. Her nationality has nothing to do with her career....and this talk about a favor being given to Vincentians is pure ignorance to say the least. There are laws in place which govern this territory if the officials see a person fit or unfit to enter they're either accepted or rejected. There's no ants nest to wake up here!! Letty my sentiments are with you in this unfortunate trial in life. Keep strong and optimistic, as for the so called Internet friends and proud vIslanders, don't make this an issue of who could eat decent and who has designer luggage from cardboard box, you'll be surprised how the majority lives in those countries compared to us catching water in buckets in 2016. Take a closer look at economics and notice our blessing as Virgin Islanders are primarily based on the currency of the U.S. not agriculture or many other natural resources.
      • Vincy heritage out of the VI (13/09/2016, 11:20) Like (32) Dislike (7) Reply
        Just to let you lovely folks know, I was born and raised in these Virgin Islands from Vincentian Parents who have contributed to this Territory in so many ways more than some of you BVIslanders. The ruling was fair just wish her husband and the rest of them should've gone jail with her.
    • P (13/09/2016, 14:19) Like (5) Dislike (16) Reply
      @Vincy heritage out of the VI, no one want to listen to your ignorant A.. comments. Why don't you take your behind back where you came from and suck salt like you were doing. You in another person Country and throwing insults about don't mess with you people.
    • Vincentian (14/09/2016, 21:14) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      That's a really ignorant comment.At the end of the day we in another man's country , they gave us the opportunity to come here and make a better life. Yes we do contribute a lot but we still have to respect the ppl them. The sentence is too harsh it yes it looks personal. Don't set no fire between islanders and Vincentians please
    • !!!!! (15/09/2016, 02:18) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      You ignorant crock. You and your stupid, stupid comment. Why would you even say that. Ain't nobody messing with you or your people. You dumb, dumb ding a ling go see goat run.

  • dog (12/09/2016, 22:04) Like (30) Dislike (19) Reply
    God will take care of u letty
  • L&B Fan (12/09/2016, 22:12) Like (6) Dislike (16) Reply
  • zoe (12/09/2016, 22:43) Like (12) Dislike (10) Reply
    Debro going on bad mehson
  • straight talk (12/09/2016, 23:13) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
  • hmm? (12/09/2016, 23:14) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    100,000 vs. 6 months
  • Curious George (12/09/2016, 23:16) Like (32) Dislike (23) Reply
    Not a man went to jail for the ports project but they got letty up in balo...ppl going get kill in this place real soon real soon
  • hm (12/09/2016, 23:17) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    must say ah u does really get the news buddy
  • Really (12/09/2016, 23:24) Like (49) Dislike (4) Reply
    She is following the law, nothing more nothing less! If anyone thinks she is not following the law take it to the higher courts. It is hard watching anyone in this small community go to jail. Personally I like the hodge family but let's not demonize a person for doing their job.

    If you love her as you say you do let's see how often you visit.

    Sorry to have to inform you folks but if this was in the US they take every dime house land, boat, car everything!!!

    I wish the family the best
    • @ Really (13/09/2016, 08:39) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      F.E.D.s ain't No toy Fr, she would of had to take a "plea bargain " in the U.S rather than take it to trial trust me....she'll be out in about 3, Don't frett Let'.... Balo the BEST jail on this planet btw
    • @ Really (13/09/2016, 12:01) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      i agree with you. ppl complaining bout this 6yrs if it was else where minimum woulda been 10. but the BVI is really "we live where you vacay" down to the prison. if she is sick I'm sure they will try their best to take of Mrs. Hodge but u do the crime u do the time.
  • Sigh!!! Smh (13/09/2016, 00:49) Like (8) Dislike (55) Reply
    Please let her out ! Sigh! That's too much years for someone that is sick sigh !!!! This lady is so ungrateful! To give her that much years !!!!! Please let out Letty she is a nice lady!!
  • vi (13/09/2016, 02:15) Like (4) Dislike (22) Reply
  • Fam (13/09/2016, 06:48) Like (10) Dislike (9) Reply
    6 years this is just wrong and pope out free
  • wize up (13/09/2016, 06:49) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
    the allegations against the lady are very serious: dope destroys a community: some of our children becomes hooks on dope and some of our children kill each other over dope transactions.....let me say this; it is not a crime til you get cought and the allegations are serious
  • i from here (13/09/2016, 07:03) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply

    Everybody involved in this case gets off except Letty ??????? HOW ?????
  • bee (13/09/2016, 07:31) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Not fear
  • LA (13/09/2016, 08:25) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    BVI needs to be wash out clean has a lot of evil eyes
  • bless (13/09/2016, 08:31) Like (18) Dislike (9) Reply
    Don't worry lett,they can't keep a good person down.
  • concern (13/09/2016, 08:45) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Something is dead wrong with this case if so much males were arrested with this case how only the lady get prison term. Someone really had it in for this lady.
  • vi (13/09/2016, 09:35) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    The men got off because the prosecution decided to drop the local case against them and tried to extradite them to the US to be tried on a pending case against them in the US, but they failed miserably at getting them extradited; so they had no other choice left but to let them all go
  • Who laughing now (13/09/2016, 09:37) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    In life that's why you shouldn't laugh at others cause sometimes who laughs last laughs best. Who laughing now?
  • de silent one (13/09/2016, 10:04) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder what's going to happen to those that was providing protection for all these years, let's see where it goes with them. She need not to be the fall guy in all of this. Some people will be having sleepless nights ahead. HHmmm
    • soooo (13/09/2016, 11:34) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      They don't need the rats anymore. Let them have those sleepless nights and look over their shoulders. Protection? That is over. They toss the woman under the train and push all the weight on her. Like another blogger said she took the lick for everything. That is so messed up. I don't care what they say about Ms. Letty, still at the end of the day, she is really a cool lady.
  • Don't worry (13/09/2016, 10:12) Like (9) Dislike (10) Reply
    Ms. Letty, you took the lick for all the S&&t that went down. But everyone who had a hand in trying to destroy you they will get there's. All the dirty rats will soon get catch in the same trap they set for you. Hold your head up, do what you got to do and it will soon pass. A woman never stay down for long.

  • VI Horse Race Queen (13/09/2016, 10:50) Like (8) Dislike (13) Reply
    Free Letty....!!
  • Disaster (13/09/2016, 11:29) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    Little lady acting tuff. Thats usually the case . why that want to be tuff mentality and that power. That's a recipe for disaster. Then again I see nothing wrong with the sentence of the lady. She was found guilty of a serious crime..
  • Ya me born (13/09/2016, 12:17) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    We as black people are way to divided-that's why black people not getting ahead the world over.If you ask me something isn't quite right with us-
  • who cares (13/09/2016, 12:26) Like (2) Dislike (16) Reply
    Wait wise up somebody send you and your kids to buy the dam dope so so foolish .teach your kids to say no .Letty don't worry that same judge has family and kids too hope she remember the sins of the parents does fall on the kids .
  • Strupes (13/09/2016, 13:59) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
  • On a whole (13/09/2016, 14:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everyone needs to mind their Damn business and keep their opinions to themselves.
  • In a nut shell (13/09/2016, 14:42) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    If I can't say good, I will not say bad. People should learn how to mind their business. If it don't concern you, stay out of it. Granny always say if you mind you business, you will live a day longer. You all need to stop all this drama on line. The judge sentence her to 6 years. It is what it is.
  • chad (13/09/2016, 16:22) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Seems like a lot of people dislike Ms. Letty. The only thing I am going to say is most of you who is talking, laughing and disliking her and putting her on blast, most of you or your family is doing what she was accused off but you just didn't get caught yet. You should not rejoice when a person fall. The best thing to do is mind your business if it doesn't concern you or your four corners.
  • Vi overseas (13/09/2016, 16:30) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Well I think she's paying for other people crime she needs a second chance cuz she did good for the bvi
  • Just saying (13/09/2016, 22:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    PEOPLE, PEOPLE YOU ALL STOP IT NO MAN. Stop all of this fussing and fighting. Pray for Letty that she will not take on this thing and get sick. If you all so care about her.

    I don't know why that person came on here and posted those words '' Don't mess with Vincentians that was so stupid to say the lease.
  • Mark (13/09/2016, 22:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think this was to alil to harsh and to me it appears personal. It have man who get caught with a gun and get a slap on the whisk. This was only a conspiracy to import. Nothing was imported and to top it off they had people who looking for lesser sentence for crimes that aint had nothing to do with hers case and now they giving state evidence. That same person who they used has been singing like a parrot for years now since he got caught for dope and he has been trying to get her husband and others locked up now only now. This justice system is really corrupt.
    • @Mark (15/09/2016, 10:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      A US young woman was given a life sentence for 1 count of conspiracy to iimport

      Cocaine. She has no previous criminal record. After 17 years, she was pardoned by Obama.

      Don't remember her first name,surname is Jones.
  • Donz Dem (14/09/2016, 09:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
  • JStewart (14/09/2016, 15:35) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply

    No sympathy here. Time longer than twine..I laugh at these posting on this tread who expressing sympathy for LH...the Magistrate did what she is getting paid to do...let LH appeal the sentence if she feel it is unjust and then let the Court of Appeal decide. Like I said no sympathy here..None whatsoever.

  • FX SHO (15/09/2016, 09:05) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
    U down Island people make me sick. The force is 90% down Island man yet we have no jobs.
  • apple pie (15/09/2016, 15:29) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Poor we locals bvi gone from we
  • Lady mack (15/09/2016, 23:32) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am shocked at some of these comments. I grew up with this woman snd her family. She comrs from a good family. She has always been kind helpful to other. Because of her the race track in Tortola is better than it ever been. Like Bob Marley say They got so much things to say right now but remember when the rain fall it dont fall on one man house top. Letty keep the faith. Today for you but tomorrow for them.
    • From east (16/09/2016, 10:46) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply

      We good.. all these $%^&* island people with them breadfruit mentality... woow

  • poor u (16/09/2016, 23:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @FX. I pity you talking about down island people taking your jobs? What job are they taking? Some of you BV Islanders with your mentality that to be a Virgin Islander is all it should take to land yourselves top jobs or any job for that matter. Are you for real about people taking your jobs? Some of you lazy born here people who when you get the jobs want to come when you feel like and sit your lazy asseS down all day; how could employers your own ppl included want to hire some of you knowing your mentality? Down island ppl ain't taking jack from you mehson, is your mentality of entitlement by simple virtue of being born here is what is affecting ppl like you. That being said I thought this post was about someone being convicted for a crime that she supposedly did. You could go off on your tantrum now.

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