Gunman handed 13 years

| 26/08/2013

(CNS): Acting Judge Marva MacDonald-Bishop sentenced 37-year-old Leighton Griffin Rankine Jr to 13 years imprisonment Friday for multiple charges stemming from an incident in the Grand Pavillion parking lot on West Bay Road last February. Rankine was found guilty on counts of assault, wounding with intent, unlawful use of a firearm and the possession of an unlicensed firearm after his trial in June. The judge said that although the maximum penalty for wounding with intent was life imprisonment, she did not feel the need for a “manifestly excessive” sentence. The presiding judge accepted the convict's four children as a mitigating factor as she understood he played a significant role in their welfare.

Defence attorney Clyde Allen expressed his concern that his client not be penalized for his not guilty plea due to his inability to recollect the events of that night.

During the altercation between Rankine and the two complainants, Jordan McLean and Joylon Fredericks, he suffered injuries from a kick to the face, which left him unconscious. The judge found that he was "the author of his own misfortune" due to his heinous acts that night after partying and drinking.

MacDonald-Bishop told the court that Rankine had a right to plead his innocence and test the crown's evidence due to his lack of memory but did not find this to be a factor to go below the minimum requirement for sentencing.

The judge said that Rankine could not be seen as a man of good character because of his previous violent convictions. She added that this was an aggravating feature to the case, along with the use of a firearm in a public place, which was easily accessed from his car. The judge told him that he acted deliberately and in a calculated manner. She continued, "You used it on a defenceless person. They were not armed."

Rankine was sent back to prison, with his sentences to run concurrent with the 13 years imposed for the wounding with intent,but he was advised to make the most of this rehabilitative opportunity for his drugs habits.

The judge also questioned how he was still able to access illegal substances while in prison and said "something needs to be done" about this issue inside of the prison.

The judge said Rankine's sentence should act as a deterrent to those walking with firearms because of the small size of the island and how dangerous it is to the community.

Rankine, had escaped an attempted murder rap because the judge had decided following his trial that he had not intended to kill anyone when he opened fire in the West Bay Road car park, near to a popular local nightclub. Police witnesses testified during the trial that Rankine was still holding the handgun when they arrived on the scene and saw that one man had been shot.

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  1. Datwayaget says:

    As a former officer who knows this thug, I can say that cayman, and his kids are far better off for the next 13 years

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you God for the visiting judges who seem to be the only ones who can actually convict criminals and hand them sentences that somewhat fit the crimes.  Thats more than our local resident judges seem to have been able to accomplich in the last several years.  Can we have more visiting judges for the trials of the bigger crimes please?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The cookie has finally crumbled.

    This man did nothing concerning the welfare of his children, he was imprisoned before his last child was born.

    Sad to know that another young, intelligent Caymanian has thrown their life away to spend time at Hotel Northward. But he who will not listen will eventually feel and the tables have turned.

    The sentence is fair and justice was served.

    • Think! says:

      Intelligent? Seems to me like the opposite. Sad reality, sad state of affairs with our wayward youths.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s our role model Caymanian women who have kids for these criminals! It’s funny to see them waisting there lives away visiting these criminals in northward prison, at the end of the day they will end up being single mothers holding on to hopeless dreams with these thugs!


  5. Anonymous says:

    I would have thought the best thing for this villain's children would be to be kept away from him for a long long time.  Why are judges so soft?  13 years for this?

  6. Anonymous says:

    yeah, what an excellent roll model he must be for his children. Sometimes kids are better off being raised by someone else..

    • Anonymous says:

      In the civilized world he would never see those children again.

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess you are excluding the UK from the civilised world then since we derive our sentencing policies from them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "The presiding judge accepted the convict's four children as a mitigating factor as she understood he plays a significant role in their welfare."

    Say what!?  The court's reasoning would seem to imply that a childless defendant in similar circumstances could justifiably be sentenced to a longer term of imprisionment.  

    A father's legal obligation is to provide for his kids. Period.  Just doing that which he is legally obligated to do should not be a mitigating factor.




    • Anonymous says:

      This logic is implied discrimination against homosexuals and the infertile.

  8. Just Sayin'.... says:

    Good! The judges need to keep handing out long sentences like these to all of these "wannabe ganstas".  As for any mitigating circumstances because his 4 children depend on him, I'm sorry, but he certainly wasn't thinking of them when he was carrying a gun and getting into fights in bar room parking lots so why should we believe that he is a good role model for his children. Another sad case of the way our young men are being raised these days but he got what he deserves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope that sets him straight, he has always needed help!

    • Anonymous says:

      What I want to know is who are these women who continue to breed with those thugs??? Four more children which will now have to be looked after by the rest of society! Four more children who are going to have to grow up without their father in their lifes and who will have to overcome the prejudice of being the offspring of a convicted criminal.


      • Anonymous says:

        Show me your company and it will tell who you are! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea and thats the omen that sandra trying to protect face it dem lil gals just have no sense

      • Anonymous says:

        Prejudice from people like you – obviously closed-minded. When you don't know the people involved, you shold keep your judgements to your self. I can speak for one of his kids – who will be just fine and who is and will be well taken care of and supported by the child's mother. Sometimes in life you give people a chance. Sometimes they straighten up and fly right, sometimes they don't. This was a sometimes they don't kind of case. But you can't blame the people in his life who tried to love him, care for him and give him some stability. It was his choice not to take the opportunities offered for a stable family life.

        • 1Cayman says:

          You can speak for 1 of his children but what about the other three. Like you said the child will be supported by his mother (alone) while he in prison not given a hoot. You want to give these idiots a chance then make them prove they are worth given a chance first. Don't give them a chance first and then think they will change. It hardly ever happens that way and the the woman and child are the ones who has to pay. These beautiful young women lessen there chances of finding anyone good because good guys trying to have a family and a drama free life don't want to have to worry about one of these coward a@@ baby daddy's stabbing/shooting the in the back because these "little boys" don't let go that easy. Stop making excuses for these jokers. They are not going to change for you. They beat their other baby mothers, they will beat you. they cheat on there other baby mothers, they will cheat on you. They don't support their other children, they will not support the any you have for them. Its not worth ruining your life given them a chance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Usually kids who grow up under these circumstances usually turn out to be the same way. SAD….