Man gets 4 years in Cayman’s first ram-raiding case

| 23/08/2011

(CNS): A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to serve four years in jail in the first ever ram-raiding burglary in the Cayman Islands, which took place at Solomon’s grocery store in George Town. Devon Wright was found guilty of damage to property and burglary on 16 August, following a judge alone trial for his part in the crime. On 18 July last year, Wright and an unnamed accomplice, who has since died, used a car as a way of gaining access to the local grocery store on Mary Street to steal the cash registe, causing some $23,000 worth of damage. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Although burglary of commercial premises is generally considered less serious than that of a home, the judge noted that this was a family grocery shop which is open seven days per week to serve the community. Echoing comments made by the president of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, as he handed down the four year sentence Justice Charles Quin said there was still a sense of violation and insecurity which gives rise to security concerns for all shopkeepers.

However, it was also acknowledged by the court that no one was hurt during the course of the burglary, despite the extensive damage to the property. The judge observed that this was the first case of ‘ram-raiding’ in Cayman, where the criminals used a vehicle, in this case a Ford F150 truck, to literally crash into the premises in order to enter and steal the cash register. 

“Shopkeepers and their premises must be protected and so must the general public. This sort of offence in the very early hours of the morning while most residents are still asleep cannot be condoned. The courts must impose a sentence which will serve as a punishment to the offender and a deterrent to others,” Justice Quin said.

Although the defendant had eight previous convictions for burglary, the judge found that his partner in crime, who had both acquired the vehicle and then actually driven it into the store bringing down the walls, had played the more dominant part. “However, the defendant was clearly on a joint enterprise along with the driver and he played the very active role of the burglar in entering Solomon’s Grocery as a trespasser.”

Despite his culpability, the judge considered the convicted man’s young age and handed down a sentence of four years for the property damage and four years for the burglary to run concurrently.

Following the ram-raiding incident, the owner of the store, Louis Solomon, had rebuilt the property himself. However, he was very nearly the victim of an armed robbery on Friday night as the newly revamped store was targeted by a would-be masked robber. The armed man escaped empty handed after Solomon managed to fight him off in the doorway of the store and bar his entry.

See CCTV footage of the incident here at Cayman 27.

Category: Crime

Comments (20)

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  1. Jumbles says:

    He should have been deported after his first offence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    you think you have seen lenient sentences; wait until the BoR comes into effect. no more life sentence for murder and this guy will claim some BS story that will let him out in 6 months.

  3. Anonymous says:

    legalize ganja

    put violent offenders away for long time



  4. Anonymous says:

    Four years for intentionally driving a vehicle into someone's hard earned property which garners their livlihood? Four years for destroying their sense of security and well being and robbing them while they sleep? Am I the only one who thinks that the message being sent isn't really one of protecting the rights of our citizens but rather letting the criminals off with a slap on their wrist?

    Considering the increasing number of armed robberies and assaults combined with the fact that the individual in question here is ONLY 20 and has so many prior offences I would have hoped to see a longer sentence as obviously he hasn't been deterred by his previous penalties.

    • Anonymous says:

      He actually got 8 years not 4

      "…a sentence of four years for the property damage and four years for the burglary to run concurrently"


  5. Anonymous says:

    4 years for an 8-time loser?????? His "young age"  justifies a light sentence?  Considering how hard it is to get anyone arrested and convicted in Cayman, the judiciary needs to part of the solution, not part of the problem as they currently are. This reminds one of the recent lgiht sentence for the head stomping murderer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great!  One point for Justice.  Hopefully, we can add more points soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Given the 8 previous convictions for similar offences, I'd say its about 0.25 of a point.  Should have been double the sentence.  Need to deter them not let them off lightly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, time to give credit where it's due, well done RCIPS. Just a shame that the court was so lenient on this gut the last time he was in the dock!!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry…I can't agree that this is a great one for justice although your comments meant well.

      It'll be justice when Boosie Solomon and his family can have a licensed firearm in his shop to deal with these pieces of horse manure from Banana Walk and elsewhere who think Solomon's Grocery is an easy target….no honest, hardworking people, as the Solomons have been for generations, should have to put up with this kind of sh***t. !

    • Anonymous says:

      Was the business man awarded any compensation for loss of business, destrtuction of property and stress.  The perpetrators of crimes are always given a slap on the wrists and the chance to go out and commit crimes, wiithout being liable for their actions.  Why are they not liable for compensation?

  7. Anonymous says:

    WTF? How is someone with 8 prior convictions for burglary by age 20 even out on the street to do this? Sentencing is obviously not harsh enough. Time for a 3 strikes law?

    • Anonymous says:

      8 prior conviction at age 21, and allowed on the streets…result of human rights act. It restricts the police from doing their real duties, the court from applying the real punishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just read Peter Oborne story, the rioters in England.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Only if you pay for the new prison to hold them all in first.

    • Anonymous says:

      You say 8 convictions before the age of 20, what can we expect in his future? He has his whole criminal career ahead of him 50 convictions maybe more?

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree with you! I'm guessing that a few of the prior convictions were when he was still a minor (and they won't count?) so to them there have only been a few committed recently??? Don't know what the thinking Is/was but  he definately should not have been on the streets in the first place after pulling that much Crap! 

    • Anonymous-Young Caymanian says:

      Its About time this stupid people get jailed!!!!! Not to mention he robbed my house twice in 2 yrs and the stupid police didnt do S*** about it! with all these convictions he should be sentenced for minimum of 15/20yrs! Caught with weed u get 10yrs or more but robbery and serious property damage on 4yrs. Come on how whatless are these judges!

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      I agree!  Come on RCIP, it is time to start "questioning" these young men that are repeat offenders.  If you stop this crowd for a random check, you will find your ganga and weapons.  I know our prisons may fill up, but if you know who is at risk, then treat the risk.  It is either a job or jail for these younf men, period.

      WHERE is our probation department?  These young thugs need to report DAILY to the employment office and learn how to get a decent job instead of heading for a life of crime.

      Parents, Wives, Girlfriends, you do these young men no good when you continue to feed them and house them and allow them to "hang out".  

      It is TIME to be acountable for your own.