Forbes killer gets 7 years

| 06/07/2011

(CNS): Justice Harrison handed down a seven year sentence to Steve Brown (36) on Wednesday for the manslaughter of Jack Forbes in Bodden Town last year. Brown pleaded guilty to the killing of the 49-year-old man at the Plaza Odessa as a result of provocation. The court heard during sentencing that the two men had got into an argument that evening over money and the fight had ended in Forbes’ death. Brown was caught on CCTV repeatedly kicking and stomping on the head of Forbes as he lay on the ground, having been hit by a rock thrown by a co-defendant in the case. The crown said it was a sustained and vicious attack but accepted that Brown was provoked after he was stabbed in the abdomen twice by Forbes. 

In his ruling Justice Harrison said that handing down a sentence in a manslaughter case always presented a certain difficult for the court because of the nature of the cases, ranging from something close to murder to other cases which could be considered not much more than an accident. He also stated the degree of provocation was also important.

The judge said that although the convicted man had been stabbed, the crown contended that he had started the violent encounter when he threatened Forbes with a rock. After stabbing Brown, Forbes had fled but was brought down by a rock thrown by another defendant. As he lay on the floor immobile Brown has stomped on Forbes’ head numerous times, he walked away and examined his own wounds and then returned to his victim and stomped his head into the concrete pavement another fourteen times.

As a result the judge found that the provocation was low in this case and therefore his starting point before the discount for his guilty plea and any other mitigating circumstances were considered was twelve years, which, he said, led to the sentence of seven years.

The court also heard during the sentencing that Brown had handed himself into the police after two days, which he said he had taken in order to spend time with and say goodbye to his son, as he knew he would have to go to jail.

The judge said that Brown had, according to the social enquiry report, a high risk of reoffending again when released because of his drug and alcohol problems, as well as his associations with criminals from previous times in prison. The judge noted that Brown had not had the best of start in life as he had come from an abusive home where his mother had encouraged him to deal drugs, and as a result he had been encouraged into a life of crime.

As a result Justice Harrison advised him to take advantage of the sentencing planning offered in the prison system to help him address his problems, “to curb his ways and end up a better person”.

Brown pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the earliest opportunity after the charge of murder was changed by the authorities to manslaughter. However, his co-defendant, Lorenzo Wright, who is accused of throwing the rock at Forbes, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in May and will be tried in Grand Court on 19 July.

Forbes was found by the police around 6pm on the evening of 14 October lying in a pool of blood about an hour after the incident and pronounced dead at the Cayman Islands Hospital later that night. The victim had been released from Northward just a few months before the incident, having served close to a decade in prison for the manslaughter of Steve Watler in May 2000. The court heard that Forbes had more than 88 previous convictions and suffered from severe alcohol and drug problems.

Category: Crime

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Tell you what, put a 4 in front of that joke of a sentence, then we'll all be happy. We need to come down like a ton of bricks on these low-life morons.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can we please try keep the comments short and sweet – like his prison sentence

  3. Freedom Man says:

    Great News!  Only 7 years for killing someone!  Wow…seems like we are giving the criminals free reign to run wild in the streets.  I could use a 7 year holiday from work and paying bills…

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is SICK…

    88 convictions, it does not matter.  He was someone who lives and works in our community.

    All criminals have a good measurement to go by from now on when they take a life and this just simply says I would rather kill them before they kill me.  SIMPLE AS THAT




    • Rorschach says:

      Jack Forbes work???  is that a joke??  I knew this "citizen" for over 20 years and never once saw him hit a lick…..that doesn't excuse his grisley end, but you know what the bible say, dontcha???  You live by the sword….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Have you noticed petty crimes are becoming obsolete. Nobody wants to permanently change their address to Northward prison.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Should have been 77 years. Unbelievable.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Kidnappers Get 10 Years" . "Forbes Killer Gets 7 Years" *confused face and scratching my head*.  Is it just me or…..sum'n seriously twisted and contradictory with these two headlines? What's wrong with our system??? FIX IT BO BO! TODAY!!

    • Anonymous says:

      .Stomped repeatedly " seven years" or struck with the blunt side of a machete "twelve years".You serve more time for a bucket of ganja.



      murder is murder .

  8. Anonymous says:

    That goes to show when all of those CCTV cameras come into play not one Damn thing is going to change!

    • Rorschach says:

      Hang on a minute!!!  IF this HADN'T been caught on CCTV it's a good chance that this crime would have gone UNSOLVED!!  DON'T BLAME this on CCTV….and furthermore…this CCTV wans't and isn't part of the government system…this was PRIVATE…I think it's pretty fair to say that the only person happy with the outcome of this trial is the defendant…but DON'T put that on CCTV…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Here again setting examples for more crimes to be committed.  Who is to stop someone from comitting murder and saying "Joe blow only got 7 years" with good behaviour he will be on the street in 4 years time or less our Judicial system sucks and has for a long, long time.  What a shame!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The comments about him being "someone's child", "still being  human"…Please don't forget what we reap we shall sow….the victim killed a man brutally with a machete in other words chopped him to death, that person too was someone's child and a human being. Can't judge brown for how he reacted, if you have been stabbed twice and was able to retain yourself and forgive your attacker then you truly are an amazing person. And he who feels it Knows it, meaning for you to know what would have happened, what you would have done, you would have to experience it……Who are we to judge. Still think the sentence isn't enough, brown needs Time, some serious time, taking into consideration he himself is a repeat offender. 7 years is seriously not enough!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "What we reap we shall sow" should NOT be misinterpreted or taken out of context!! SHAME ON YOU!!! God NEVER intended or insuinuated that to take the life of someone means your life should also be taken! (Thou shalt not kill!!!!). Two wrongs never made a right and to speak so blatently while ommitting information is not only misleading it's ludicrous!  For those who aren't familiar with the VICTIM's original case in which a 12 year sentence was handed down – be advised that it was ONE single blow to the head sustained by "Stevey" (may he RIP) that caused his death and in this instance the ratio was four (including Stevey) to one (Jack Forbes)!!  Come str8, come correct or dont come at all!!!!  

      • anonymous says:

        So then please explain the whole "eye for an eye" thing…

        • Anonymous says:

          Sure! I'm so glad you asked!! 

          Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it has been said, An eye for any eye, and a tooth for a tooth (verse 39 continues) BUT i say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also"

           And for ease of reference: "thou shalt not kill" Exodus 20:13, and "love thine enemies" Matthew 5:44

          MY GOD is a GOD of forgiveness my dear, not one of revenge.  Do NOT mock or twist and utilize HIS word for self comfort! Alternatively, seek HIM and let go. 

          Jah Bless 

  11. a naw no mouse says:

    This is the Police being "intelligently aggressive"?

    Why was this not a murder charge? It's on CCTV! He was stomped over and over and over and over….walked away and then more of the same….over and over and over and…..

    How can the Police call for people to come forward….then do this sort of deal (plea down the charges).

    If there was no CCTV and an eye witness was needed, then this vicious criminal would be out in 4-5 years….then what do you think is likely to happen to the "eye witness"?

    This should have been a murder prosecution!

    People are getting more time for much less heinous crimes!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Man Left To Die like a homeless Dog. SMH. Firstly, to clarify a few misconceptions: 1) Jack Forbes was NOT just released from prison.  At the time of the incident (October 01, 2010) – Mr. Forbes had been released from incarceration for approximately one year and five months for manslaughter whereas, he served ten of a twelve year sentence. 2) Mr. Forbes is the VICTIM however, HIS previous convictions continue to be posted and highlighted by the media as a means of establishing a less than honorable character as though he deserved the type of death that befalled him. Why does the media/law feel it is applicable to constantly bring to surface, the past criminal history of the VICTIM when the accused (Steve Brown) himself has numerous previous convictions including a convicted charge in which a nine year sentence (for a similar offence) was bestowed!  3). It is being repetitively said that Mr. Forbes had 88 previous convictions,  when in fact there are 95 recorded convictions which research would support that the majority of these incidents occurred within his family home in an effort to seek professional help for Mr. Forbes – however, to no avail as authoritities were swift to advise that Mr. Forbes had served his time and could not be held in custody/judged twice. 4) The said "stabbing" was in fact a superficial cut whereas no penetration occurred nor was medical treatment required.

    Having said that, allow me to recap and put fourth a few issues of concern.  Prior to having his life taken, Mr. Forbes, who – when approached by the accused – was sitting on the ground and pulled to his feet – was forced to pull a knife in his own personal defense, struggled to escape from the accused individual/s with a broken leg (which resulted in him being on crutches for months up until the time of the incident and autopsy reports will substantiate same).  Please advise how this warrants the utilization of the terminology "provocation"??. 

    In all fairness, is it justifiable to grant a man a 7 year sentence for the loss of an entire life?  Personally, if he was my father, brother, uncle, or friend – i would be outraged. Quite frankly, he was none of the above to me but i am.  Good job Cayman.  And we expect things to get better?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Poster – Mr Brown's 9 year sentence is incorrect.  As a matter of court record he received 7 yrs as the court of appeal reduced his original 10 (TEN) not 9 year sentence.  Please post correctly if you are going to rant.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone making such an issue of the fact that the victim had 88 prior convictions?? He was BEAT to death, repeatedly stomped in the head by the defendant!! At the end of the day he could have had 888 he was still a human being and some mothers child, what were his charges for? All of his charges could have been for something petty such as disturbing the peace, driving without a license etc…. You get the point! Please don't miss out on what is important here, both the defendant and victim's family have now lost a loved one, HOWEVER the defendant's family can call him, can go and visit him and have him home in a few years the victims family gets NOTHING but a graveyard to visit and memories to hold on to…… I personally knew the victim and he was a well mannered man who's only fault was he couldn't cope with life's up's and downs, he learned to cope with Drugs and Alcohol!! Say what you like we have all sinned and came short of the glory of God!! To beat someone to death is heartless and cruel…. He wasn't hit once by a bat, or once by a car, but stomped in the head over and over again until he lay on the ground lifeless like an abandoned animal!


  14. Beachbay meatballs says:

    I beleive after fighting with someone and that person goes down inmobile ,you walk away,stop turn around return to the person who is on the ground inmobile and continue to assault that person by stomping on their head 24 times,you have met the criteria of murder. I recommend that the Crown appeal this charge,and sentence,have the charge filed as murder,the evedience lies in the cctv recording.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe it was a further 14 times not 24, but regardless I still agree with you completely.  I can't believe this man only got only 7 years and got off with manslaughter instead of murder.  From the moment he turned aroundto attack for the 2nd time once Forbes was on the ground, 'actus reus' (unlwful killing) and 'mens rea' (malice aforethought) definitely co-existed.

      I can't believe Cayman is so soft onits hard criminals and serious offences, yet so hard on minor offences.  It just doesn't make sense.

      • Pending says:

        I think you will find the Prosectuion messed this one up (another mistake to add to their list of botched cases).

        I cannot quite understand where they thought they couldn't find him guilty of murder and thought they should offer him a plea bargain. Outrageous!

        He may have been provoked into the initial attack having been slashed or stabbed, which would allow the defense of provocation to be found by the judge if he was being tried for murder, however where that would fail is when he attacks for the second time, as he is clearly then intending to "finish the job".

        The fact that the whole encounter is caught on CCTV should have meant an air tight conviction!

        Perhaps the other person involved is being charged with murder as he threw the initial blow (rock) which may have been determined as the "fatal blow"?????

  15. nauticalone says:

    This is truly astounding.

    10 years minimum for having a firearm…. (even just a gun or bullet alone, or even for self defence purposes….because we all know it's next to impossible for most law abiding residents to legally have a firearm here) but 7 years for manslaughter, which is really a vicious murder! And all recorded on CCTV?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Please be clear.  Mr Brown pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of provocation.  This was NOT a case of murder and consequently the sentence was in accordance with the legal guidelines set down in commonwealth courts for cases of manslaughter without a weapon.  Since the whole of the case was not properly and fully reported on this website perhaps everyone should consider taking a step back before they express a knee jerk view.  Incidentally as an example the deceased had 95 previous convictions (matter of court record) including one for manslaughter.  The death of a person is a tragedy however no sentence will ever be long enough for the family of the deceased but the prison is not just about penalty it is also about rehabilitation.  As a consequence the sentence handed down was correct in law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok so maybe the court agreed that he didn't intend to kill the guy but typically if you stomp on a guys head 14 times while he lies on the ground – you are intending to do some MAJOR damage.  Its not like he hit the guy once, causing him fell hit his head and die – that might justify a light sentence….the guy walked away, then returned to him and delivered blow after blow after blow….that is excessively violent. The guy who did it is clearly a dangerous man.

      • Anonymous says:

        You will always find hatred strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture

        • Anonymous says:

          What is that supposed to mean? Did you know him personally, or are you using this to make nasty comments about Cayman generally?   

    • So? says:

      If I brutally kill someone and dont feel like doing life I can just tell the judge, "look ya pardner, I want to plead guilty to manslaughter. You can help me out please?" and just like that I am allowed to automatically reduce my jail time? WOW Look at the severity of the crime, this sounds like something out of a horror movie. We should not be rewarding offenders for pleading guilty especially when the evidence against them is so strong. If we have the evidence procecute them to the fullest. Why are we making deals now ?


    • Anonymous says:

      With all due respect I completely disagree.  From the point he turned around to launch his second attack and stomp on the poor mans head 14 more times there was no provovation and we're talking murder.

    • Pending says:

      Provocation reduces a charge of murder to manslaughter if a plea is entered prior to the trial commencing.

  17. richard wadd says:

    This is a CLEAR case of the FAILURE of our "Justice System".

    88 prior convictions (one of which I understand was 10 years for killing a man with a machete), yet the "Victim" was released back into society?

    What happened to "3 Strikes, your out".

    There's something dreadfully wrong with this picture.

    While the 'Offender' is certainly no angel, the 'Victim' should have been in Northward where he belonged.

  18. Anonymous says:

    88 convictions… and THEN Brown stomps a guy to the ground and walks away… and THEN Brown returns and stomps his head 14 more times and the guy dies.

    And THEN Brown is sent to prison for only 7 years.

    Justice, in this case, is clearly a title and NOT a description.

    This place is not going to hell.  It has become hell.


  19. Right ya so says:

    7 years for killing someone – viciously !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  CNS please tell us that's a typo on your part!!

  20. CaymanFisting says:

    Wow…..what an unbelievable article….the man that was killed (God rest his soul) had 88 prior convictions and suffered from drug and alcohol abuse while the convicted had been encouraged to slang drugs by his mother. A second individual awaiting trial for spanning rock (nonaddictive type is awaiting trial) is also implicated in a crime which was caught on CCTV in our nations previous capital. Mind you 45 yards from a police station (near a local late night jerk stand “Chesters”/liquor store/sketchy area of hidden brush where suspect individuals congregate) and somehow it took an hour for the victim to be discovered after having his face repeatedly beaten into the concrete. Do not misinterpret my post, by no means am I stating a man should not defend himself after being stabbed but for God’s sake open your eyes local authorities and patrol an area a fishing pole away from your precinct. Shouldn’t you keep tabs on someone who was just released from prison after a crime that involved an individual who was locked away due to a previous road/bicycle accident??????

    • Anonymous says:

      The police are always patrolling that area and checking up on the 'suspect individuals' that congregate there.  Not all of those individuals are 'suspect', many are just having a few beers after work and/or hanging out with their friends, and some are checked on by the police repeatedly, almost to the point of harrassment because of silly things they did as kids, even though they've been acting responsible and staying out of trouble for years.  

      It is unbelievable how long the police took to get their considering their proximity to the murder scene however, and it even more unbelievable how lightly the accused got off with a manslaughter verdict and only 7 years… disgusting.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Jeez poor dorian gets16 yrs for nothing and this one get 7 for killin!

  22. MER says:

    Gotta love the Cayman Islands, where else in the world could you get only 7 years for murder? Minimum of 15 years for a gun, whether it;s used or not, but SEVEN YEARS for a murder like this? Honestly I would rather be shot to death than have my head pulverized!

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not murder,its manslaughter. There is world of differences between the two. Its not everytime you kill a person it will be murder.


      It must be done with an intent to murder the victim

      murder can be turned into manslaughter if the accused was:

      (1) Provoked; and there is no interval when the accused could cool off his temper;

      (2 ) the accused was suffering from diminished responsibility;(mental)

      (3 ) was doing a lawful act and an accident occured which caused the death(eg working with an axe  and it flies off and kill the victim)

      (4 ) Accused was suffering from Automatism(an act done by the body without control by the mind) or concussion or while sleep-walking;

      (5) the accused was grosly negligent in ommiting to do an act which the Law imposes on him to do.(nanny not administering medicine to invalid in her care)

      There are some other sub-categories that time won't permit here.

      So don't jump to conclusion about murder. Try educate yourself at the Library for free.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a disgusting case and everyone of them born Caymanians so let's stop pretending the problem is caused by outsiders.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you cannot draw any conclusion about the source of our crime problem from one single crime.

      • truth says:

        Then by all means count up all the rest and what do you get?

        The same result.  What will you have in the future? 

        A pretty obvious conclusion.

        • Anonymous says:

          We don't know all the rest. Most crimes are unsolved. There are some notorious crimes where the convicts were not Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Quite true, Anon Thu 13:28. So would you like to report the nationality of all the others who have been in the media, including CNS, recently?? I would be glad to do it as they were mostly (at least 90%) thugs who went through my classrooms in the education system and I and other teachers know them very well as they used to destroy our classroom discipline and NO parents or anyone else EVER came to assist us. Except for the stupid "Graduation" ceremony. Then they and their friends showed up (a few were actually reasonably sober) and got miserable when there were not enough seats for them.

         But CNS doesn't like naming of names, so no names. But, Bobo, they are ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please stop the racial thing. For your information one of Steve Brown Parents was a born Caymanian and the other was from Honduras as far as I know. But please leave the Nationalities out of it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    7 years for killing someone in the street? should be out in 5 yrs. hmmmm


  25. Anonymous says:


  26. Anonymous says:

    "Stomped his head into the concrete pavement another 14 times"???  Lock him up and throw away the key. Humans dont behave like this.

  27. Anonymous says:

    7 years?  for taking a life?! Are you serious?  I am willing to bet the the guy dies as a result of the extra 14 kicks and stomps to the head once he was already down……I didn't realise that a life was worth so little here.

  28. Anonymous says:


  29. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, rest in peace to Mr. Forbes.  How is it that offenders get more time for things such as cocaine with intent to supply, yet a man that takes someones life gets 7 years?   Im confused!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ah bwoy….the injustice system in this country amazes me!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think if I got stabbed twice it would be grounds to express discontent to the person who just stabbed me

    • Anonymous says:

      And for you "discontent" means that after he is lying immobile on the ground you kick and stomp his head 14 times until he is dead? This is not a matter to be taken lightly.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Is this a damn joke??? 7 years in jail for murder??? Somebody relieve this judge of his duties pronto. This is only incentive for the psychopaths we have here…..kill someone and get 7 years in a freakin hotel in Northward, Grand Cayman!! This is some serious BS.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me start by saying that I know none of the parties, so I am not biased in any way toward the sentence.  However, as the article states, this is conviction for manslaughter, not murder.  Also, the maximum sentence is not set by the judge, but by the lawmakers of the country.  As it states in the story above, the maximum sentence the judge could have given was 12 years.  This is not his choice, but the choice of the legislature.  Rather than complain about the constraints the judge is forced to follow, maybe the outrage should be directed at the elected members.  They are the only ones that can change the sentencing terms.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with your post except the last two sentences. Had the perp been charged with murder rather allwoing him to please guilty to  manslaughter there would have been altogether different sentence. The faultlies with the prosecution.     

  33. Anonymous says:

    Help us heavenlyfather!!!!