Kidnappers given 10 years

| 30/03/2011

(CNS): Following the guilty verdict delivered to Honduran nationals Allan Kelly and Charles Webster on Wednesday morning on six counts relating to the kidnapping of Tyson Tatum, the judge handed down a ten year sentence in the afternoon to both men for the crimes. He also ordered that Wespie Mullins, the third man involved in the abduction conspiracy who had both pleaded guilty and given evidence against the other men, serve five years. The judge had rejected the defendants’ claims that they had committed the offence under duress and found that the crown had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. The three men were part of a conspiracy to kidnap the victim for a ransom of $500,000 last March, which the judge said was masterminded by Richard Hurlstone, who absconded from the jurisdiction while on bail.

The case was the first ever abduction for ransom in the Cayman Islands and when handing down the sentences to the guilty men, Justice Harrison said there was a need to be more resolute to stamp out such crime so it would not spread.

"This sort of behaviour can only be met with a heavy sentence," he added, before listing the sentences for each of the six counts against Kelly and Webster and the four against Mullins, all of which he said would run concurrently.

All three men had conspired to abduct, keep in confinement and assault Tyson Tatum and blackmail his mother Angelique Tatum who the men had called to make the ransom demands during the ultimately foiled kidnapping.

During the trial the court heard how Tatum was lured to an address in North Side in March 2010 by Webster who was posing as a customer wanting work done on some wave-runners. When the victim arrived at the property, where Mullins was the caretaker, the three men attacked Tatum and eventually bound and gagged him before tying him to a chair.

During the more than 24 hours or so that he was held by his kidnappers the men attempted to extract a ransom of $500,000 from his mother who had despite the kidnappers warnings reported the crime to the police. The three men eventually left Tyson alone in the house, and although bound and gagged and tied to a chair he still seized the opportunity to escape.

All three men, as well as Hulrstone, the man believed to be the ringleader were arrested soon after the bungled kidnapping and Mullins entered an early guilty plea. Hurlstone who was given bail absconded before the trial and is now believed to be in Honduras. Kelly and Webster both pleaded not guilty to the crimes claiming that they were forced into the conspiracy by Mullins whom they said had threatened their lives and the lives of their families. The judge however, said he did not believe that Webster and Kelly had acted under duress and dismissed their claims as a result of the evidence he had heard during the trial and the fact that the defence of duress was entered by the men very late in the proceedings against them.

When he sentenced the kidnappers, Justice Harrison told the court that the offences warranted a severe punishment as they had planned the crime, used force, demanded a significant sum of money and threatened to kill the victim. “The crime was committed purely out of greed,” the judge said. “The victim in this case was treated with brutalityand terrified.” Justice Harrison went on to say that the trauma he experienced will take a long time to be erased and that his mother was put through the agonising, anxiety during the abduction.

Giving both Kelly and Webster ten year sentences for the abduction he also handed down six years for the count of blackmail, ten years for keeping in confinement, three years for assault five for the robbery of Tatum’s jewellery and a further two years for threatening to kill their victim. The judge said the sentences would be served concurrently and the year that the men have already served on remand would be counted.

Meanwhile, Mullins was given a discount for his very early plea, his full disclosure of the crime and his cooperation with the prosecution and giving evidence against his co-conspirators. He was given five years for his part in the abduction, five for the keeping in confinement, three years for the blackmail and two years for his part in the assault. Mullins was also told that the sentences would be served concurrently and that his time on remand would also count.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Romellia Welcome says:

    Wesby Mullings & little Charles Shame on you two.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Much too lenient, surely.


  3. Cracker Jack says:

     Hmmmmmm…. Kidnapping = 10 years.  Causing two deaths by dangerous driving = 4 years. Honestly… there is no hope!

  4. Cmon Son! says:

    And a kid thatkills 2 people… gets….4….years….


    ROFL @ "Justice" really?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m the MOTHER. I think that it was NOT FEAR. like I said m it could have been a 100 years or one year , the fact is that the pain that those CRIMINAL did in our lives is unrreparalbe

    • Frequent Flyer says:

      My heart goes out to you and your family.
      The ordeal must have been so very horrible.

      I don’t even know the victim or the family but was SO relieved to hear that he escaped and was safe.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If this young man hadn’t escaped, there would have been no stories told to the court or anyone. We are thankful that he is still alive or he would have been an MIA , just like many others. This is just an example of what/how things are done by importing thugs to our country.

    One of the first case of its kind, and it is high time that this example had to be set. Wish it had been 25 instead of 10 years with the hardest labour that could have been set for such actions.

    My opinion is that it maybe others that have suffered and died under the hands of persons from foreign countries that is a reason for unsolved mystries/cases. There are still pending cases that are different – and these are no exception of unscrupulous persons that either remain in our society or find their way as a visitor.

    Hats off to the Courts for a job well done. Did the Law ONLY provided 10 years? and if so, It is time to look further into this, beause as the country grows there could be more of this kind forthcoming.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, so it MATTERS where they are from as to the punishment for the crime??

      You’re right. From what I can tell, lenience is only for Caymanians.

  7. A Very Tired Civil Servant says:

    I know it’s a little thing but can I ask why these criminals who we see being led in and out of court are allowed to wear sunglasses? Why do we let the criminals run this place? Oh wait… I know! Cause we’re lead by criminals.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to John Furniss for getting his client 5 years. One of the best criminal attorneys on the island.

    • Anonymous says:

      5 years I dont agree with that, buit about John Furnis being one of the best Lawyers on the Island I do agree.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So, a man that is part in a high speed “chase”, crashes and two people are dead, gets FOUR years. You kidnap someone and he get away (good for him) you get 10. Amazing!

  10. Anonymous says:

     Its a shame there is no extradition treaty with Honduras. If he is a Hurlstone are there Caymanian ties?

    • Anonymous says:

      If we cannot extradite from Honduras, why give them visas to come here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Curious as to with which countries does Cayman have extradition treaties (other than US, UK & Ireland)….?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Starting with the initial investigation, preparing the case and the court presentation, another positive result for the RCIPS and legal teams.  And it was the first of it’s kind.  Well done people

  12. Absurdistani says:

    10 years HARD labour needed for these criminals.

    Not the soft approach supported by Franz.

    • Anonymous says:

      They were lucky they were not convicted in Singapore….now those guys send a STRONG message to criminals

    • Anonymous says:

      10 years free board and lodging in the Northward Hilton – heck of a lot better than starving back in Honduras. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

      Pity you don’t have a reciprocal arrangement with Honduras so they could serve the sentences somewhere like La Porvenir or San Pedro Sula.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is regrettable that the 3rd person involved escaped to Honduras but he should not be allowed to ever return to the Cayman Islands unless it is to join his fellows in Northward.

  14. Michel Lemay says:

    Good. Now is the time to send a strong message that such crimes will not be tolerated in these Islands. Hard Labour to pay for their food and lodging would be the way to go. However I hear the cries of Human Rights on the issue. Do you honestly think they would have let the victim go if their plan would have worked ? I doubt it !

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, we are not going to tolerate these crimes in Cayman, so I am hoping that a message is sent to all who would have it on their minds. Hard labour to work for theis stay in prison. Stop getting work permits for government clean up jobs. Let prisoners do it.

    • Michel Lemay says:

      Sorry but the punisment don’t fit the crime. 2/12 years time served and 51/2 years time served. With the audacity to come out smiling saying happy or something. No lesson learned here. Feed them leftovers. Difficult to feel Agape here. I do pray for the family affected to find closure one day.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Crime in Cayman has become ridiculous!