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Sistah Joyce imprisoned!

- Allegedly fails to come up with full sum of court fine
Virgin Gorda calypso queen Joycelyn Searles aka Sistah Joyce has been incarcerated for allegedly failing to come up with the all the money she was ordered to pay for her run-in with the law last year. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Virgin Gorda calypso queen Joycelyn Searles aka Sistah Joyce has been incarcerated for allegedly failing to come up with all the money she was ordered to pay for her run-in with the law last year.

Word reaching Virgin Islands News Online is that Searles was imprisoned on Friday April 12, 2013. It is not clear how much of the $40, 000 fine she was able to raise.

This news site was reliably informed that Searles has been imprisoned and according to the sentence could spend up to four and a half months for defaulting on payment.

‘Sistah Joyce’ was given a two-year sentence suspended for three years and $40,000 fine by the then Senior Magistrate Valerie Stephens on September 11, 2012 for possession of 452 grams of cannabis for the purpose of distribution.

The popular calypsonian had labelled the hefty fine as an injustice which had put a heavy burden on her and family. “$40, 000 with two months to pay it and two years suspension with three years probation and then she [Stephens] turn around and give a young man who get caught with more marijuana than me about two months after and he was fined $30, 000 with 6 months to pay it.”

“She making me feel like she feminist or she hate me or something and she don’t even know me, it was my first offence and while I am not condoning what I did because Marijuana is illegal, so the system say, I was still looking for fairness. Even though I took full responsibility, I felt like there was no fairness...She putting me in a real struggle to find $40, 000. There is now way in the system that they could justify that large fine. If someone could come forward and tell me what happen I would understand but right now I am still puzzled,” Sistah Joyce had told Virgin Islands News Online in December 2012.

The recently crowned calypso monarch of Virgin Gorda also said she had plans to do a song about the “unfairness” of the court system. It seems she will now have much time to contemplate on the words for that song while in prison, however, it may mean that she would be unavailable to perform it at the Calypso Competition on Tortola in July.

63 Responses to “Sistah Joyce imprisoned!”

  • Drunken MC (15/04/2013, 15:01) Like (26) Dislike (86) Reply
    This could have been avoided if the Virgin Gorda Festival Committee had paid her wining cash prize so she could have paid the courts. It is because of them she is now incarcerated. SAD
    • fool (15/04/2013, 15:35) Like (17) Dislike (157) Reply
      The VG festival committee had nothing to do with her doing the crime - their hands are clean, her are not. What the festival committee should have done was to not allow her to take part in the first place, now they have a monarch in jail!
    • Yes (15/04/2013, 15:37) Like (25) Dislike (9) Reply
      Don't try and shift the blame, she is incarcerated because she committed a crime, no other reason.
      • bat man (15/04/2013, 19:37) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        It is time to end the mockery of justice, peace, and order that has existed for too long.

    • please (15/04/2013, 15:39) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
      No fool! It is because she broke the law why she is now incarcerated. When are we going to stop condoning persons when they do wrong. This is why the BVI is the way it is now, no one has any sense of right and wrong, everyone just wants to do whatever they want and no one is suppose to say anything about it. God help us all!
    • yellow (15/04/2013, 15:41) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Go figure.
    • What?.. (15/04/2013, 15:41) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      Its because she did something illegal is why she in now incarcerated (ignorance)
    • Watching on... (15/04/2013, 16:27) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
      So you tellin me that the Committee coulda pay she more than USD 40,000.00 so she coulda pay off the fine? Boy you really drunk...
      • wise-up (15/04/2013, 20:21) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
        i say do the jail-time and keep the money to buy more weed(40,000.00)...BVI have the best jail its like home away from home
        • rrrr (16/04/2013, 01:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
          ha ha ha lol!!!
        • BE STRONG J (16/04/2013, 07:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          Calypsonians in T&T get 1 mill TT dollars, that's over 100,000 US. We should able to pay more than 3 thou for these talent and effort.
    • Real Fool! (15/04/2013, 16:32) Like (9) Dislike (28) Reply
      How could you put the blame on VG Festival Committee. She had $40,000 to pay and only came up with $10, 190. So tell me now, how could VG Festival Committee $4,000 prize make her not go to jail???!!!!!!! SMH! You all need to think before you write on these things. Remember, people around the world is watching!
    • Brap (15/04/2013, 16:40) Like (6) Dislike (15) Reply
      You must be real drunk since you talking crap bout committee should had paid her the winning cash prize like she was getting $40,000. Not even $10,000 she was getting from that victory drunken MC A$$!
    • the rock (16/04/2013, 14:59) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      yeah vg festival had give her the mariquana to bring through customs..u dummy!
  • JACK BE STILL (15/04/2013, 15:38) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    how sad
  • ccc (15/04/2013, 15:43) Like (27) Dislike (80) Reply
    This legal system has con another local
    • long look me come from (15/04/2013, 19:19) Like (1) Dislike (38) Reply
      They have nothing better to do. They are trying to put us all into jail once you born here
      • blind mice (15/04/2013, 21:24) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        You speak for your self but put us all in jail do the right thing and follow the rule of law and you wil not be where de sista is born here sa so nuff said
      • billyb (16/04/2013, 10:27) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
        Das true, Simeon Pope wasted the courts time only to end up pleading guilty to theft and see, he spend one weekend in jail and dem let he out. I guess if she was from St. Vincent, she woulda go free.
  • posh (15/04/2013, 15:47) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    People in BVI like doing nonsense, now cannot take the fine!,
  • smh (15/04/2013, 15:52) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    stop playing the blame game... its because she was caught wit weed she is incarcerated
    • pipe (15/04/2013, 19:14) Like (3) Dislike (17) Reply
      Everytime I see things like this my gut reaction is "Don't the legal system have anything better to do with their time and jail space?"
  • to drunken mc (15/04/2013, 16:01) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    if her fine is 40,000.00 and the committee owe her 3000.00 how would that prevent her from getting locked up? they don't owe her 40000.00. that would mean she still owes 37,000.00 if that was the case. don't blame the committee.
  • Huh? (15/04/2013, 16:07) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
  • guns (15/04/2013, 16:10) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor child I feel for her children
  • VIlander (15/04/2013, 16:14) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    1 pound of weed = $40,000 or imprisonment
    yet all the white collar crime eg stealing $40,000 goes unpunished...GOD will judge ayo
  • INJUSTICE (15/04/2013, 16:39) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Imagine the dude from PWD get way and Sistah Joyce lock up. She will need to ask Ms. P for the hook up with some cash to pay the fine.
    • for sure (17/04/2013, 00:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The justice system in the BVI is in shambles and we hear nothing of the plan or see any action to address this.

  • Hmm (15/04/2013, 18:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Well sah, what a ting"
    • Have a heart (15/04/2013, 20:51) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      You take the words right out my mouth. They could at least give the lady an extension to come up with the rest money. It's not like she was not paying.

      I am not condoning what she did as we have laws and every citizen is govern by them but come on man - two months to pay $40,000 especially when you don't have it. Well sah what a thing!
      • hello (15/04/2013, 21:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        How much extra time should she be given? Wasn't it due some months ago?
  • Jaleel (15/04/2013, 19:26) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Daylight caught up with night, like my Grandma use to say, the water pipe bust.!!.
  • Vantage (15/04/2013, 19:36) Like (14) Dislike (37) Reply
    It is the height of hypocrisy to talk about putting this young lady in jail when pope is out!!!!
  • Look Meleh!!! (15/04/2013, 21:17) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sister Joyce, take this time out at Balo to meditate without smoking weed and pray. Find yourself. It is not how hard we fall but if you can get back up. Do it for your children and when you get out, find a real job and work for yours because singing here in BVI will not pay your bills much less selling weed. New approach is needed.
  • bam (15/04/2013, 21:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    She will be out in time for the festival competition and she has plenty time to write good tunes
  • . (15/04/2013, 21:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    After joy comes sorrow
  • pretty (15/04/2013, 21:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    2 boy get hold with 2 pound of weed 4 years a go and had to pay 20.000. Those boy in pay not a $ as yet. So what to say
  • teacher john (15/04/2013, 23:29) Like (2) Dislike (21) Reply
    Let my people go!!!
  • concern (16/04/2013, 03:41) Like (1) Dislike (37) Reply
    Laws are laws but the time factor for payment is too short for so much money to be paid. My dear this seems to be happening all over and the locals seems to pay the penalty at the highest bid. A friend I went school with called me and told me back home a dominican republic resident forged a passport and all she paid was EC $400 for this deed and she was certain that a local would have paid more or gone straight to jail
  • The Law (16/04/2013, 07:05) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The difference was her intent to sell ...
  • event (16/04/2013, 08:01) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    she needs someone to work with her, and not against.

  • billyb (16/04/2013, 10:22) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wa happen to the one wa teef the money from the senior citizens who couldn't go on dem cruise and we deh tax payers had to send dem on their cruise. Wa happen to she, I still see she walking the streets and I know she ain done pay all a da money
  • shelly (16/04/2013, 11:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    A lots of people in paying the court and them in lockin up them. De law too @$$. U all check de book and see how much people in paying. Not Sistah joyce a lone

  • pat (16/04/2013, 11:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Peace be still.
  • x factor (16/04/2013, 11:21) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good Morning Sister Joyce.....and ah pleasant morning to all meh BVI peps out dey on diss sad moring with our siter waking up in HMP....
  • correction Be Strong (16/04/2013, 13:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    T & T calypsonians get 2 million TT dollars. Thats 320,000 USD
  • sayso (16/04/2013, 14:23) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Polo II (16/04/2013, 18:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    some of you have just declared war on all those who oppose your views
  • Take Care my sister (16/04/2013, 21:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yee without sin criticize for you know all. While I cannot condone the behavior the penalty does not seem fit the crime. Most places in the world are looking at the use of this specific drug as a total waste of the judicial systems time and energy. No diff in my book between alchohol and weed

    It is not fair to blame the festival committee for her incarceration. However, if money is owed to her they should see it fir to pay her so she can meet her financial obligations. Legally what she did was wrong according to the law. Life moves on, those who break the law and cannot afford top legal representation find themselves in Jail. I assume if she was a big shot and had the cash we would not be reading or writing about this.

    What does not kill you and break you down can only make you stronger. Stay strong my sister tomorrow will be a better day.

  • legal team (16/04/2013, 22:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    from a humanitarian perspective,i would like to sympathise with sister joyce and her family.however,the section of law under which the sister was charge,is a serious drug trafficking offence,pursuant to chapter 178 of drugs prevention of misused act,for which,if convicted in magistrate's court the fine is 100,000.00 or minimum 3 years and maximum 10 years in prison.I am sure that there are other would-be-offenders still planning to traffic drugs,while some of us feel sorry for the sister.For 24 years,i served in the force,and the bvi laws relating to drugs have been amended many times,to increase the penalty,but still persons continue to break the law.sister joyce,it is sad you are in prison,but there is NO indication from you or any one that you have been imprisonsoned falsely or wrongly.the most you can do,is do your time.may the good lord continue to bless siter joyce..
  • street (17/04/2013, 08:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the people who send she to jail must go

  • barker (17/04/2013, 15:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It never changes the story continues to be the same. Same thing every day, hamering of locals
  • suckaparent (19/04/2013, 09:01) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why each and every one of you don’t just keep off your keyboard.. Joyce is safe... she'll be aight none of you guys will ever face her straight up and say $#@% so be quiet no man is a mountain, she did a cry to our community standards she got her penalty who care what you feel or have to say... we are so shallow minded here, ganja was grown from the earth and is being legalized in more than 3/4 of the US we here like to follow fashion first it will be gay rights then legalizing the same ganja so just sit back and watch how things change up then what? Will what she did be so "BAD" ? Set of fools..
  • dots (25/04/2018, 21:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everyone should march n protest for the oppressive mentality. The judge could give the lady a lighter sentence. What does prison do for a woman like this. Disrupt her family and prevent her from making money legally. She should file an appeal to the Governor, all politician, all festival committee, then all women and children group in Tortola and the Caribbean. Use her social media power to mobilize support. Free women.

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