Having served nearly seven years in the Central Prison on a conviction of murder that was overturned by the Court of Appeal, Rancho Dolores housewife Viola Pook
is expected to be out of jail within the next year. She was sentenced to eight years in prison after taking a plea of manslaughter for the death of common-law husband Orlando Vasquez, whom she admitted to setting on fire after throwing a flammable substance on him on New Years’ Eve, 2008. Today Supreme Court Judge Adolph Lucas told Pook that of the 8 years imposed, she was deducted 6 years and 10 months; including the 2 years she was on initial remand and the first four years of her life sentence during which she was appealing her case from 2011 to 2014. It all means that within a year or less she will be a free woman, as she is now also eligible for parole pending an application to the Board at the Central Prison. But how did it come to this? Her daughters, Violet and Christy Jeffords, spoke exclusively to us at the close of the case, recalling the 20 years of a relationship that was slowly poisoned by the deceased’s alcohol problem.
To be honest for years my mother has been suffering some very abusive in her relationship with my stepfather. she has had to suffer sleepless nights, restless days and many times she cried more than smile. We suffered mentally as children and to be honest, many days we can still remember everything that happened. my mom is of age and i think she has paid for most of what she went through already and we prefer her to be at home. We love her very much and miss her a whole lot and i am sure the grandkids would love to have her home.
The mother of 5 and grandmother of 11 was found to be suffering from battered women’s syndrome, a condition rarely spoken about in society. Violet Jeffords made this plea to other victims to change the cycle of violence by speaking out.
Most women in Belize suffer for the same reasons in Belize. Ladies I am appealing to you; if you are going through what my mother was going through, open up . Talk to anyone, someone can help you… Please, just open your mind. Speak what is happening to you. Say this is happening, that is happening. Someone out there will be able to help you along the way.
Pook remains incarcerated at the women’s section of the Central Prison.