‘Lifer’ released on parole

| 21/06/2013

Prison gate (232x300).jpg(CNS): Based on a long assessment of his case and a low risk of him re-offending, Blanford Dixon, who has served 27 years in jail for the murder of his stepfather, has been formally paroled and will be released from HMP Northward Friday, official sources have confirmed. The release is at the discretion of Duncan Taylor in his capacity as the Cayman Islands governor under the law and not as a result of the introduction of the Bill of Rights, which now provides for all lifers in the local prison system to apply to the courts for their sentences to be tariffed by a judge. Dixon was convicted in January 1986, along with his brother, Lensel Vernie Dixon, and Owen Barrington Bruce, of killing Charles Evans Rankine. Rankine, who had been shot, was found dead on the beach in East End.

After trial, the three men were all sentenced to death but the executions were commuted to life in prison when Cayman was forced to abandon its death sentence policy by the British government. However, with 'life' still meaning to the end of one's life in Cayman at present, despite the advent of the Bill of Rights, no one but the governor can parole a 'lifer'.

Blanford’s release has been under consideration for several years and the prisoner has been living in an apartment on the parameters of the Northward compound for some time, adjusting towards his eventual release. Considered to have an exceptionally low risk of re-offending, he is also believed to be the first inmate convicted of murder and serving a mandatory life sentence to be released on parole.

However, the Bill of Rights gives hope to several other lifers currently imprisoned in HMP Northward and the local Human Rights Committee has already stated that it believes the courts will be forced to begin handing out tariffs for those convicted of murder, opening the window of parole for all killers.

Several other men have been in HMP Northward for more than twenty years, including Dixon’s brother Linsel as well as Bruce, who was convicted with the two brothers. These men are the longest serving prisoners along with William Powell, who was remanded in 1986 and convicted the following year of the murder of Charles and Gaynell Ebanks. He was also sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life with the repeal of executions. Powell has now served more than 25 years and he, too, could be released if he turns to the courts for a tariff.

McAndy Thomas, who has now served 23 years, was charged and remanded in 1990 and convicted in 1991 of killing 77year-old Ratmir Pavlovic, who worked at a local jewellery store. Thomas was found guilty of murdering the store worker during a robbery.

George Oral Roper has served two decades behind bars after he was charged in 1993 and convicted in 1996 of killing aprison guard during an altercation at Northward while Roper was incarcerated for another crime. Steve Manderson also convicted of the same crime has also been in jail since 1993 in connection but having escaped from jail at least five times, Manderson may have a far more difficult time getting parole in the near future.

Although the implementation of the Bill of Rights in Cayman paves the way for prisoners to seek a judicial review of their life sentences and seek a tariff, a judge can still provide for life without parole. However, a judge can also provide a minimum sentence tariff of a specific time period, such as twenty or even thirty years, but this does not mean prisoners would immediately walk free. The completion of a minimum sentence period on life would merely mean that the prisoner would be able to apply for parole; release would not be automatic as a risk assessment would need to be made. 

Any lifer considered a genuine threat to the community could still be kept in jail. However, each prisoner would have the opportunity to continue making strides towards release until they had satisfied the authorities they could be trusted back in the community.

See official statement from the governor below:

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Category: Crime

Comments (88)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I pray that Blandford will embrace every day of this gift of freedom to him, do good deeds and live a clean life. I do not condone what he did, indeed I do not know the details of the case that he was convicted of, but I know that world over people are treated badly and diven to points of anger that cause them to lash out and do unthinkable things. Not every murder victim was an innocent person. I also know that innocent people are wrongfully convicted. Regardless of the reasons, our Governor has seen fit to pardon this man and I accept his judgement. I wish Mr. Dixon well.  

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor has not pardoned him, he has only given him parole. And there is no suggestion that there is any beief that he was innocent and wrongly convicted, only that he has been a model prisoner. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    If my memory serves me right Blandford Dixon's mother Natalie Rankine was also charged and arrested for this crime but she was not convicted. Ironic that almost immediately after her death Blandford was released.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The way i see it. His life was already taken from him after 27 years. Yes, he should have served life. But with the way this new generation is behaving, we need the space at HMP. Truth.
    Also I hope someone takes the opportunity to see about documenting this mans road back into society. I heard a sad story that a former pardon came out and couldn’t readjust to the outside, and practically beg to get back into prison. So this would be a huge insight into the perils of “freedom”.

  4. Yeshuah says:

    Any one of you who is without sin, throw the first stone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure there are circumstances considered by the Governor that we are not privileged to!  I'm also sure that this decision wasn't made without years of observation and considerations.  We also need to consider the role that may have been played by Blanford at the time of the murder.  A person convicted of murder isnt always the person who actually took the life of another.  Give the Gov a break!  This is why he is the Gov.  Hold your head up Blanford!! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    All you morons condemning this please remember to err is human (if this guy DID in fact commit the crime he has served 27 years for, which I seriously doubt), and to forgive is divine. There is not one of you imbeciles who would not want him pardoned if he was your son.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm…murdering your stepfather is not simply "erring". He was convicted on proof beyond reasonable doubt of murder and sentenced to death. He is lucky to still be alive.   

      • Anonymous says:

        If he was your son i am quite certain you would want him pardoned. It is quite impossible for all of the three men that were convicted to have fired the shot that killed the man.

      • Anonymous says:

        Two wrongs will never make a right, bozo. THAT is the reason he is still alive. He is still alive because of mankind's evolving intelligence. And he has been pardoned because of mankind's evolving intelligence. Try to crawl your ass out of the dark ages, will you?

        • Anonymous says:

          That is assuming that capital punishment is wrong, bozo. Many disagree on that point. He hasn't been pardoned, he has been paroled. Big difference. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Taking a human life is taking a human life bozo. No one on this earth has a right to do it. That is the reason capital punishment has been abolished. It is plainly and simply wrong. No matter who agrees or disagrees with it.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is simply your opinion which most people don't share. You're as dogmatic as any religionist.  Logically you will next be saying that the defence of self-defence should be abolished and no war should ever be fought.  

              • Anonymous says:

                That is not simply my opinion my friend. It wasn't me who abolished capital punishment. Logicaly you really shouldn't be telling me what I will be saying next since you really have absolutely no idea. Tell me about one single war that has ever been fought in the history of this world that made sense, though, and maybe we can talk. 

                • Anonymous says:

                  Umm…logically those must follow. But I understand what you mean. I should not expect your thought process to follow logic because it clearly doesn't.  

                   

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is great news for this country,finaly we are part of the worlds civil socities.Thanks Gov,Taylor for bringing this about,and bringing this country out of the dark ages.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an idiot!!!!! Are you serious "finally we are part of the world’s civil societies"! If you commit a murder you deserved to be in prison for life! You take a life and the government takes your life by imprisoning you.

      Let me tell you something about the CIVIL SOCITIES in which you speak. They have no problem locking you away and throwing away the key for life. They have no problem injecting you with poisons that shut down your vital organs (lethal injection). He should be glad he's in a country were the prison is relaxed as it is here. If he were in the states he would be in some Maximum Security Prison being rapped and fighting for his life daily.

      • SSM345 says:

        15:47, You are referring to the US.

        Unfortunately we live in a country that belongs to the UK.

        Try reading up on the average sentence for murder in the UK and get back to us or don't because it might scare the sh*t out of you.

        The DailyMail would be a good starting point for ease of reference judging by your clear knowledge on the subject.

        Moron.

        Whether you like it or not we now suscribe to Human Rights and because of that things like this will start to happen.

        Infact, barring Steve "Catch Me If You Can" Manderson, ALL these guys WILL be released.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Dark ages???we let a convicted murderer out and now we are out of the dark ages…if you are  a convicted murderer (unless it was self defense) and are sentenced to life, why is it the right of the murderer to get out after a certain time???? In other countries if you are sentenced to life without parole, thats it..you are there for life, if the sentence states x amount of years with parole after a certain amount, then that is that….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Look at recidivism rates and realise that society benefits from accepting that once a criminal almost always means forever a criminal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lets hope he can adjust to his new life of freedom and be able to become a productive member of society. Twenty seven years was a very long time in prison and everyone deserves a second chance.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What’s the hell???? Released on license! What license????? I hope an Ankle bracelet has been attached to help ensure public safety. This is a part of the bill of rights I wish we didn’t have to face.

    Thank God you is in control and this would last forever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone deserves a second chance and remember you are not God or Judge and Jury.  No heart.  Unfortunately everybody makes mistakes.  Lets hope you or your family finds themselves on the otherside of the law by mistake.  Be careful on comments made.  Life has a tendency to catch up with us when we least expect it.  Think before you speak as nobody is an ANGEL.

      • Disgusted! says:

        What you say sounds nice, but I hope to God you are never on the receiving end of being a victim. When  someone take a mans life, or impress scars on a woman that will never leave her (for example), those victims are sentenced to life withouta judge or jury.  The person that committed the crime decided they could fill those positions. In your comments of getting a second chance, I would pose that is the victims right, but that is a right denied as you cannot take back RAPE or MURDER.  The convicted criminal is liable and responsible for their actions, they have beed spared their lives regardless of the crime via our relationship with the UK, they can make the best of their lives through positive involvement within the confines of the of the institution and facility that will insure the safety of the public.  It is my understanding that the day we meet our maker we will be judged on the merits of this life, and that judgement if for a duration beyond life, but one for eternity.  I feel it is completely within the remit of the human species to judge and sentence our peers, and I also feel this is a mandate given to us by God, as we all carry sin and without laws and penalties to give the laws teeth, we would live in anarchy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 1007 as did the person he killed.

        From what I hear this was investigated and though through carefully.

        If that person has changed and the initial crime was not carefully planned out and executed then okay but there will be members of this small community that will feel it. It would be as if he was not paying fully for his crime.

        I beliebe the UK definition of life has a limit not complete life in prison until you die.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummh yeah, but not everyone is a murderer either.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you mad???? Everyone deserves a second chance…maybe a burgler, even a druggie, but a MURDERER..this was not done in self defense, this was done in COLD BLOOD…cold blooded murderers should NOT get a second chance!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        So wait McCandy Thomas put the storeowner on his knees and shot him in the back of the head, does he deserve a second chance…..I am so disgusted with the governor for even allowing this murderer out on the streets…

        • Anonymous says:

          That's why he's the Governor and you're just some anonymous. By the way, I don't believe he didpardon McCandy Thomas.

        • Anonymous says:

          I knew the old man very well like so many in the Community. He was one of the most knowledgeable person you could find to know every little detail about jewellry. From a distance he could even tell you where the jewellry was made. He and his dear wife had such a beautiful relationship. The death of PAPA as he was called almost killed his dear wife MAMA as she was called. Just hope that one day we can se him again.

      • Anonymous says:

        These people would have been excecuted, but they did away with it so they got life…but life doesn't mean anything anymore, if the governor feels he can pardon them now….I am sure the families of the dead man are thrilled with that…once a murderer always a murderer unless it was in self defense…

      • Arch Angel Michael says:

        I'm an angel

    • SSM345 says:

      16:09,

      "Released on License" is similar to parole, if he messes up, he will be right back at HMP.

      And you might find that the "License" is for life.

  11. Anonymous says:

    life is lfe. Shame on the Guvnor !

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done Gov. Taylor for having the courage to make a difficult decision.

    None of us are now , what we used to be 23 years ago.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am happy for Blanford as he has shown the public for many years that he could live outside the prison and conduct himself in a good manner. Steve on the other hand escaped many times as he was trying to prove a point that he is innocent. Most of the public believes that and he kept escaping to prove a point. Linsel too can be seen around the prison premises behaving himself for many a year, also Bruce who is so handy around the prison and would love to return to his homeland. Mr Powell used to work at the check point and was well responsible in doing his job. Then Mr Roper the skilled Artist who is so mannerly. I do believe that if they were all out on parole that they would not be a threat to our society. Do hope Mr Duncan will continue to use his good judgment before he leaves our Island.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hope the families of the murdered persons ar happy.

    In my book, you kill, you get life.

    Especially gang related.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well this is one way to help save 50k per year.
    Should have been hung!!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Way to help the man make a life for himself on the outside CNS…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Seriously! Governor doesn't a life term sentence mean Life? I'm up for prisoners being rehabilitated in various forms such as further education, counselling & vocational training but not having cold blooded murderers set free. This is setting a precedent for the other lifers, are they going to be released too? Ask the families of the murdered victims if this is justice!

  18. Anonymous says:

    What's the point in sentencing a person to life and they can be paroled. This BILL of Rights is a bunch of BS.

    That makes absolutly no sense…. so now all criminals know there's no such thing as a true life sentence in the Cayman Islands! That is absolutly LUDACRIS

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the educational benefits of going to prison…they improve your spelling..

  19. Anonymous says:

    What about Philip Ebanks?

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently he's been out about 3wks now. They didnt even warn the Community about him, and he is worse. Living in WB. Betta lock your windows and doors.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well well well, isn't this just great! If things are not bad enough on this island, with crime already controlling the streets, we are now going to give all CONVICTED killers freedom?!!!

    This is just mind blowing!!! This island does not seem to catch a break! And now, the Governor is high-tailing it out of here, but before he goes he will give us a parting gift of this kind?!!! WTF is going on here. Cayman was once the envy of the caribbean, now, we are heading down the same path as the many other caribbean disasters around us: and we didn't have to even go it alone!!!

    This just leaves me confused. Not only are current murders not being solved, but we are going to allow the possibility of those who were found guilty of the worst crime against another human being to walk free?!

    Now I see why all the young educated caymanians are leaving! This is just frustrating.

    How does the Bill of Rigths help the victims that were killed? How does the Bill of Rights help the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children of those that were killed for money?!!

    Never have I seen such stupid policies and laws that work against the law abiding people of a country like here.

    • Anonymous says:

      The bill of rights draftmen  are from  Europe, who are decendants of  the Mongo Warriors;

      Were considered Barbarians and savages.

      They dominated Europe and Aisa, they were masters of psychological warfare and intimidation.

      The Roman Centurian /Gladiators; made history when  a man could make a ligitimate living off of warfare and killing.

      These are the same europeans today,  with the same blood running through their vains. These are the same peolple that removed the death penalty for murders, and  villans.   there has been more vicious killings of inocent people in England since these people put in place, the human rights act.

      They intend to destroy the World,  by  keeping the  criminals on the streets, to carry on with their atrosities…. they care not for the victims of these murders.

      Ecclesiastes 1: 9

      Whathas been will be again, what has been done will be done again;  

      There is nothing new under the sun.

       

       

       

    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      We have really become a sorrowful bunch of uneducated morons. Read I say read and gain knowledge bredren . human Rights are in play here? Life sentences are commutable and in our mother country the one ona love so well a Life sentence is by law commuted at twenty years. Ignorance a gon ruin us not the economic woes or any government, pure unadulterated Hignorance.

  21. 4 Cayman says:

    Let me see if I understand this, you kill some one you are convicted to death then to life in prison and then you are pardon by the governor? May I ask the governor what for? It seems to me there’s no justice for the victims and their families.

    The world has certainly change but I’m not so certain it’s for the better.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This Human Rights thing is going too far.  When someone snuffs out the life of another person, they cannot bring that person back and that person's family has to live with that loss for the rest of their lives.  I think it is therefore a breach of human rights to release someone who is capable of killing someone back into society to enjoy life and freedom which they took away from someone else.  And what if they do it again?  Does that make the family eligible to sue those in authority who incompetently allowed them back into society to cause harm once more?  Something is seriously wrong with those who consider themselves intellects, but have no common sense and come up with such crap and call it Human Rights.  I think there needs to be a code called Criminal Rights, cause it sure as hell ain't Human Rights.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I say, "you do the crime, you do the time!!!" Incarcerate and then incinerate. This should be the "message" sent for those who indulge in criminal activities.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I spoke with this guy a few years back and I know he is ready to live a decent life. Hope he dont let us down..

  25. can not believe it says:

    So, a man that has been put away for "life" is being paroled because he has a low risk of doing it again.  Seriously, what does this man know?  He only knows the prison.  It will be nothing for him to get in with the wrong crowd and do it again.  Why?  It doesn't matter anymore.  A majority of his life has been spent locked away.  Are they going to supply him with housing, food, money?  Will he EVER be able to get employment(other than with gangs)?  This is a situation that I believe will turn out deadly in the long run – if not for the ex-con, a good citizen.  I will be interested to hear how this all turns out when they parole a bunch of killers.  They took a life and should have no life.  Plain and simple! 

    The justice system in this day and age is for the criminal, not for the law abiding citizens.  Good luck Cayman, you are catching up to the states – with your crime, lacking justice system, poverty, etc.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh, thisis real good news for us out here thinking of killing someone…we get our own free apartment in northward, free electricity and food and now high possibility of getting out ….life just got better!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Blandford is not the 1st lifer to be released on parole.  Phillip Glennon Ebanks was released, but lost his parole when he committed offences whilst on parole. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Phillip Glennon Ebanks was not a " Lifer "

    • Anonymous says:

      And Philip Ebanks SHOULD NEVER HAD BEEN LET OUT THEN EITHER…he committed a henious crime and I doubt very much he will ever be rehbiliated….when he was out, didn't he break into someone's house and hold them by knife point?

  28. Anonymous says:

    I don't know the circumstances of Mr. Dixon's case but am willing to trust the Governor's judgement this one time.  I wish him well in his transition back into society and hope he can contribute meaningfully to our community (maybe as a speaker to our youth?)  However, I do remember well the cases of the other men mentioned and I think it would be a travesty to have any of them released.  They are cold blooded killers who, in some intances, seemed to be treating murder as some sort of sport.  William Powell, McAndy Thomas, Steve Manderson, and Oral Roper are exceedingly dangerous sociopaths who cannot be allowed to walk our streets!

  29. Rorschach says:

    Is he on an electronic tag like the other "lifer" who was recently released??  Why the double standard??

  30. Anonymous says:

    it was only 1 prison worker killed at northward not a guard , roper and manderson are doing time for the same incident.

  31. Anonymous says:

    This is an awful decision.

  32. Anon says:

    What the Bill of Rights does NOT do, of course, is return hope and freedom to those murdered by these people.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Another good reason to cross Grand Cayman off your list of holiday destinations.  

    • Anonymous says:

      …because there are no paroled convicted murderers on any other Caribbean islands, right?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Funaly,thanks Govenor Taylor

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Taylor you made a wise decision. However you cannot please most of us Caymanians. You just have to do what you think is best and even the good Lord cannot then do bettre. I know all these lifers and most of them are ready to be put back in our society. The sad thing is that the public is not going to make them forget and probally wont even offer them a job. These guys were very young at the tome and is much repented. Linsel was one of the best workers that could be found at the hospital, just unforfortunate that he got mixed up. A REAL NICE GUY.