Ex-cop jailed for 6 months

| 19/10/2012

(CNS): A former RCIPS officer was sent to prison Friday for six months by a Grand Court judge following his conviction by a jury in June this year for wounding. Rabe Welcome (38) was found to have used “excessive force” during an arrest in the early hours of the morning at a George Town gas station while off duty in June 2009. Welcome broke an arm and caused other injuries to Adolphus Myrie during the incident, which the judge said had crossed the line. Despite several mitigating factors, Justice Alex Henderson pointed to the need in this case to deter police officers from using excessive force and to send a message that such abuse of power would not be tolerated.

The judge said that although Welcome had no previous convictions or disciplinary violations, had good character references and that he had a low risk of re-offending, given the circumstances, he felt a custodial sentence was necessary and he handed down the six month term.

Welcome was arrested following the incident and suspended from duty for some three years until his trial this summer. After his conviction he was dismissed from the service.

The incident was caught on CCTV, and although there was a degree of provocation as Myrie had threatened Welcome and two other off duty officers with a machete, at the time Welcome beat Myrie he was unarmed.

The altercation had started among the men when Welcome insulted Myrie’s girlfriend and, the court found, Myrie had then over-reacted with his threats towards the off-duty officers.

The judge said that Welcome had a right to make an arrest as Myrie had committed at least two offences, but once the victim had been persuaded to put down the machete there was no longer a need for Welcome to defend himself. Justice Henderson found that when the assault took place Myrie did not not pose a threat to the off-duty officer, who was also physically much bigger than him.

Speaking for his client during the sentencing hearing, defence attorney Ben Tonner had asked the judge not to impose a custodial sentence but to consider a community based sentence and a compensation order as he noted that, along with the mitigating factors, a prison sentence for a former police officer would be even harder as he could be serving alongside people he had arrested.

However, because of what the judge described as the “unusual circumstances of the case” and the need to send an important message to other police officers, Justice Henderson said a custodial sentence was required. 

Welcome was a serving police officer at the time who had sworn to uphold the law and was therefore on duty 24 hours a day. While he did not pose a threat to the community, using such excessive force when making the arrest was a misuse of the power of his office and there was a general need to deter such use of force by others in future.

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  1. Pibble says:

    Unsuccesful appeals should lead to an increase in sentence – Cayman has far to many criminal appeals.

  2. Anon says:

    Rabe has been a bully and a loud mouth since high school days. He deserves every day of that sentence.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Last week someone gets a suspended sentence for stabbing his cousin and this guys gets 6 Months for breaking an arm during during an arrest ???

  4. insane says:

    Unfortunately I had the non-pleasure to get to know Mr. Welcome.
    I believe in everything that he is been accused of. He is rude and seems to be an agressive person. I met him while he was on the force. 
    He loved to tell everyone that he was a police officer. If during a conversation you say something and he doesn't agree with you, he will be attacking you with words all the time. He used his tittle to show he had some sort of "power" and he was above us.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who knew Rabe Welcome or interacted with him can understand why this sentence is appropriate. He was a loose cannon and walked himself into this. I hope this humbles him but I suggest that he follows-up with professional counseling after his release.

  6. Loopy Lou says:

    A bully has had his comeuppance.  The sentence seems lenient.  I hope the defendant will learn from this.  From what I know this is unlikely.  It is sad that there are those on this board who want to drag in a completely different type of complaint and make this a race/discrimination issue which is plainly is not.

  7. Mr Bean says:

    Myrie seems such a nice chap is he running for Office in the next election?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats Mr Pee Wee to you bwoy leader of top notch crew! Eat the bullets from my belt buckle piligrim

  8. Anonymous says:

    Poster 20:05 you know what is funny? some people believe we live in a fair world .everyday people commit acts of the same nature for the first time in the same country . but the consequence is a world apart.

  9. Anonymous says:

    the court & northward looks like it's for caymanians cops only!  what happen to forgien policemen that did the same & worse Mr. Baines?



    • Baz says:

      You conveniently forget Constable Richard Hannah who was sent to Northward in 2008 for fraud. Hannah was a Caucasian officer who came over from Canada.

      If you are going to comment onhere at least get your facts strait.

      • Anonymous says:


        Yes, not from the UK, CANADA!


        Name the UK Officers that have committed offences/infractions and were allowed to leave the jurisdiction starting with Gibbs! Wont/cant do it? ok make it easy which of them were arrested or detained for offences starting with Clarke? No? ok neva mind!


  10. Catchafire says:

    Anon 19:00 you know how it goes Rabe was born where? What about the Police Officer who ran over the person he was chasing in West Bay the victim was paid over $70,000 to keep his mouth shut and that Bloke out of even being questioned. These are the things you will have to endure under colonial rule where double standards are merely a fact of life and many of you loyal subjects better get use to it ya hear.Cause it ain't going to get no better you restless natives!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't like it, there is always an alternative.

      Let me know how that works out for you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s called Karma.

  12. Anonymous says:

    An unfortunate case, for sure, but there is definite need to underline that officers are subject to the same set of constraints as the members of the public they are sworn to serve. Breaking someone's arm who is not posing a physical threat indicates an officer who does not feel at all constrained, and I reckon the judge acted appropriately in handing down a custodial sentence. Simply put, no one is above the law, in particular police officers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another well-thought out decision by Justice Henderson.  Though I do not know Mr. Myrie or Mr. Welcome, I see no reason why Mr. Welcome, an officer of the law, had to insult Mr. Myrie's girlfriend.  To the casual observer, the officer's insults were not only unnecessary and abusive, but also highly provocative.  Mr. Myrie's response to the officer's insults was clearly immature and criminal, but as Justice Henderson stated, Mr. Welcome's actions went beyond disarming the man.  Instead of allowing the Courts to deal with Mr. Myrie, Mr. Welcome became judge and executioner.  From other comments that I have read relating to this case, Mr. Welcome has in the past acted as if he was "above" the law – apparently the law does not think so, and it is refreshing to see that Justice Henderson has pointed that out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 19/10/2012  21.15

      Yours are the most fair and sensible comments on this issue that I've read here; you don't know either of the men so yours are objective comments based on the reported facts of the incident and case.

      Well….I KNOW Rabe Welcome, very well…and NO ONE deserves thisconviction and jail sentence more than he does.

      A more bullying and arrogant law enforcement officer you do not ever wish to meet, even from the days of his duties as a customs K9 handler.

      It is a blessing that law-enforcement officers in the Cayman Islands are not generally allowed to carry firearms, or else Rabe Welcome might well have now been in the dock for much more serious charges than assault and wounding.

      Welcome has a despicable habit of insulting, bullying and assaulting unprotected women when they refuse or are not interested in his attention…not serious assault but unwanted physical attention is assault non-the-less….as is verbal assault.

      I once had to free the girlfriend of one of Cayman's most celebrated sporstmen from his unwanted physical embrace in a very prominent lounge on the WB Road…and warned and remonstrated with him about his behaviour.

      The young woman in this incident was clearly shaken up and scared, with this huge hulk of a man hugging and holding her to him against her will.

      He was still a customs officer at the time and knew me very well…there would have been no beatings and broken arms in my case.

      That Rabe Welcome insulted and verbally assaulted this woman, provoking this confrontation is what has landed him in jail….

      And long overdue, too, I might add.


  14. Anonymous says:

    As far as I recall, I saw an Aldolphus Myrie on the court list week, or last week, if I recall, so looks like he hasn't changed his ways either. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe not, but this is not about Myrie but the bully Rabe Welcome. He got much less than he deserved, but the judge probably would not get away with anymore. Well done Justice Hendersen.


  15. Anonymous says:

    lol… 6 months, woopty doo

  16. Anonymous says:

    Funny. One is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and another more senior police officer is not prosecuted because it would not be in the public interest. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Why??? It's simple…he is a Caymanian!

    • Letchworth says:

      Completely different level of activity. Interactions between police and public of this nature must be prosecuted. Stop stirring trouble.

    • John Doe says:

      Welcome so sorry that the system you defended has placed you in this position. Irrespective of this bro you seved this country well.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Much is written about the need for 'beating" school children, spare the rod and spoil the child etc and why the lack of these is resulting in crime in Cayman. It is not,of course. But this sort of police action shows the same mentality – beat the crap out of them and they will behave or do what we want. Well, maybe so. But the world (at least the real one) has moved beyond this and our cops and others need to know that the courts won't allow this sort of thing nowadays.

    • Annie get your gun says:

      "But the world (at least the real one) has moved beyond this and our cops and others need to know that the courts won't allow this sort of thing nowadays.

       Arguably, the flip-side of the disappearance of 'Corporal punnishment' in so-called civilized society, has been the (Statistically supported fact) breakdown of respect for Rules, Laws and those that are charged with upholding and enforcing them. Be this in the home, schools or society in general.

       So-called civilized society says that it is better that a thousand guilty persons be set free than for one innocent person to be punnished. While I certainly understand this train of thought, where has it gotten us?

       Criminals now have more rights than BOTH their Victims and those who put their lives on the line to protect us.

       When a machete-wielding criminal (his arrest record includes murder) is released without charge while the police officer involved is convicted for subduing him, there is truley NO JUSTICE for innocent civilised society.

       It will only be a short while until we decend into the kind of 'street justice' that is taking over in countries like Jamaica.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what his sentance would have been if he hadn't been a cop.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since his position is a relevant sentencing factor, I am not sure of the relevance.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this will send a message to others in the police force.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Commissioner Baines: If Rabe Welcome was arrested, charged and convicted for Wounding, why is it that Chief Inspector Frank Owens was not charged and put before the same court for "Assault on a fellow officer" which was committed in the public view and at the same court house that Rabe Welcome was sentenced at today ??

    Talk about "Double Standards" in the RCIPS these days.  


    • Anonymous says:

      Double standards seem to be par for the course in the Cayman Islands.  I have no idea what the Chief Inspector has done (please elaborate and provide some background) but if he has indeed assaulted a fellow officer, he also ought to appear in court to answer some questions.  Further, why is the alleged incident of assault on a fellow officer not being investigated by the RCIPS?  Lastly, I'd suggest that the officer who was allegedly assaulted by the Chief Inspector arrest the Chief Inspector and force the hand of the Prosecutor's office to deal with the matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not the police that make that decison – in either case.  Ask the legal dept, and you may find that their is no comparison.

  21. Anonymous says:

    wow, sad case of being threatened then over reacting, 

    • Anonymous says:

      Not anything sad at all, it’s really simple actually: karma finally caught up to Rabe. Too bad the soft hearted judge only put him there for 6 months.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes indeed. Nothing personal against him. But Rabe's character is dusgusting and Im glad his ways have finally caught up to him.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would hate to hear what you would say if it WERE something personal you had against him. Saying someone's character is "disgusting" and you are glad about what happened to him is as personal as it gets.