Inmate appeal fails over 3 months additional time

| 24/03/2014

(CNS): Efforts by an inmate to have three months additional jail time, which was added to his existing ten year sentence, run concurrently rather than consecutively failed Friday. Ryan Elijah Ebanks was given the extra time by Magistrate Valdis Foldats as a result of an assault he committed on a fellow inmate, which had resulted in a wound requiring five stiches above the man’s eye. Staging his appeal without an attorney, Ebanks argued that to add the time onto his already long sentence was excessive. The judge disagreed and pointed to his 33 previous convictions, the serious injury he had caused to his fellow inmate and the need for discipline in the prison.

Ebanks was serving a fifteen year sentence for armed robbery at a West Bay grocery store, which was reduced by the Court of Appeal to ten. However, following the assault on another prisoner, in which Ebanks had pushed his victim so hard he smashed his head on the cell bars and cut his eye open, he was given a further three months.

Ebanks argued that he was a human being and it was a difficult time for him when he committed the assault, as he said he “was frustrated” and was "having a bad day" when he pushed his jail mate into the cell bars.

He said that although he had 33 previous convictions, they were mostly for drugs and not many were for violent crimes, having little to say about the obvious act of major violence with the armed robbery. He asked the judge to have some mercy on him as he suggested he could have received another punishment from the prison management rather than more time, given how long he already had to serve.

Justice Charles Quin, who heard the appeal against the summary court sentence, pointed out that it was not manifestly excessive and was, in fact, very fair and reasonable given the aggression of the assualt. He said that inmates had to be protected as well as guards or visitors to the prison.

Commending Ebanks for his efforts to do the appeal alone, the judge nevertheless was in agreement with the magistrate who handed down the sentence. The judge said that if it was not added on, it would send the wrong signal.

“It would undermine the deterrent effect,” Justice Quin said, and if the sentence was not consecutive, “it would give carte blanche for anyone to commit an assault while in jail.”

The judge made it clear that he considered the assault to be violent and aggressive, and despite what may have been his frustrations, “You went too far,” he told the prisoner, as he upheld the magistrate’s sentence.

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Category: Crime

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I FAIL TO SEE

    Why someone would appeal 3months of a sentence if he is currently serving a 10 year sentence. All he is doing is wasting the tax payers money because I am will to bet my brass that this was dealth with via legal aid. What a shame the Judge should have added 30months as apposed to 3

  2. Anonymous says:

    If this inmate is violent in prison I am not looking forward to his release for the public's safety.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We hear all sort of announcement about different things to take place in the prison to bring about changes and then everything go silent. 

    What is happening to the no smoking policy. 

    What is happening with drug counseling , are prisoners participating?

    i hear from a friend incarcerated that cocaine is now in the prison. If so, are the authorities finding cocaine in the prison?

    how much drugs did the authority find in the prison, the public need to know?

    how many serious fights and injuries to other prisoners have taken place, is this place so se creative.

    We  need to know, I have. A friend who claims that it is the prisoners running the place.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good judgment again Judge Quinn!  Those fellows need to understand what discipline means.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A very violent act and yes he should be punished. We here of a number of these offense taking place and rampant drug use in the prison. We should keep our eyes on these things. Does the prison not publish these figures.