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Nickail Chambers leaving the magistrate's court on Tortola in this file photo.

BVI: Jamaican inmate stabbed to death

A Jamaican man convicted of attempted murder was stabbed to death at the Her Majesty’s Prison on Tortola, British Virgin Islands, around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

This was confirmed in an official statement by Minister responsible for Prisons, Carvin Malone.

The dead inmate has been identified as Nickail Chambers.

He was among a total of four prisoners who sustained stab wounds during a fracas that broke out at the institution.

Chambers died at the hospital while the other three inmates were treated for serious stab wounds, Minister Malone said in the statement.

One inmate has been formally charged in connection with the matter.

Malone said all prisoners have been confined to their cells while police investigate.

According to media reports, in 2017 Chambers was convicted for the attempted murder of his former schoolmate, and in 2019 he was sentenced to 11 years and three months for the use of a firearm with intent to endanger life and 10 years for the attempted murder of his schoolmate.

At the time of his death, both sentences were running concurrently, meaning he was to serve 11 years and three months.

Visits suspended

The Ministry of Health and Social Development announced last Wednesday that all in-person visits to the facility have been temporarily suspended until further notice.

However, the Minister said items may be dropped off from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Senior officers on leave

The National Security Council (NSC) has since placed two senior officers on administrative leave while investigations are being carried out.

According to media reports, the two officers were on duty when the fight broke out.

The NSC said in a statement that an internal inquiry should be launched into the incident.

“The NSC also instructed that a wider external review of security arrangements at Her Majesty’s Prison should be commissioned and of importance, noted the current investigation into the wounding and murder at the prison under the active investigation of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s Major Incident Team,” the statement said.