Top student turns to robbery

| 20/11/2013

(CNS): A 21-year-old man who was once a top student and the best achieving male in the school when he attended George Hicks admitted robbing a Bodden Town pawn shop last year with a modified flare-gun when he appeared in court for sentencing on Tuesday. Aaron McLaughlin, who, the court heard, had never committed any crime before, had gained ten GCSEs at school and had been an upright member of the community until he committed the robbery at Cashwiz in May 2012. For his first offence McLaughlin opted for a particularly serious crime; he entered the store wearing a black mask over his face, gloves and carrying an imitation handgun and stole over $600 and a gold ring.

Revealing the facts of the crime before Justice Charles Quin, crown counsel Candia James said that after threatening and terrifying the male and female staff in the store at the time, McLaughlin fled with the stolen goods in a bag.

Immediately after the robber left, a member of staff called the police and a patrol car soon spotted a suspect not far from the scene. Sweating profusely and looking like the man described by the victims of the robbery, McLaughlin was asked by the police to stop and speak with them. However, he took off running. The police gave chase and the officers cornered him in a condo parking lot, where he threatened one of the officers with the handgun.

“I will shoot you, I will shoot you,” he reportedly said to the officer.

Although it was later discovered to be a modified flare gun, which firearms experts confirmed was not capable of firing without exploding in any would-be gunman’s hands, at the time the unarmed officer had no idea that it was not real.

The prosecuting attorney said the officer was frightened for his life and put his hands in the air and begged the gunman not to shoot. At the same time the police helicopter came on scene overhead andMcLaughlin reportedly threw away the gun and took off again. But this time the female police officer from the patrol car jumped him and tackled the robber to the ground. He was arrested and the money, jewellery and firearm were recovered.

He was later charged, and following a long delay while both defence and the crown waited on expert testimony regarding the imitation firearm, in September this year McLaughlin pleaded guilty to the crime.

As he pleaded his client’s case, Clyde Allen said that McLaughlin had been an outstanding student when he was at school, winning awards for academic prowess as well as being an outstanding athlete. But something happened to him in the few years after leaving school to the time he committed the robbery, when he was still only 20 years old. Allen also noted that prior to the robbery McLaughlin had been inexplicably fired on by an unknown gunman.

Having heard submissions from both attorneys and clarifying that McLaughlin was comfortable with his plea after a social enquiry report had implied he may have had reservations, Justice Quin said that he would take time to consider the circumstances and deliver his sentence ruling on 2 December, as he remanded McLaughlin back into custody.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Crime

About the Author ()

Comments (127)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. UHUHUH says:

    As I read some of these comments and glanced through others, it  became very clear to me that the one common denominator that connects all of us humans, is, that everyone  [ myself included] seems to have an opinion or an answer to so many things! And in this particular case the reason and/or reasons why this young man [intelligent  or otherwise]  would commit such an offense. 

    We all have an opinion about the act he committed. Some of us even use uncalled for nasty, derogatory remarks about the young man, yet knowing little or nothing of him or the reasons why he did what he did. I'm sure that none of us who commented here even if it were possible, would have taken the time to speak with the accused, and gotten the story from his perspective.

    The saddest commentary of which Ilike others am guilty,  and I must say here that I do believe we all have commented based on what we've read on this site, or based on what we may have heard, seen or read from other news media.  Which means WE  MADE  AN  ASSUMPTION, because we can never be sure that what's in the media is as it happened. This in it self could cause us to find ourselves in situations much more tenuous than that which this young man has to face. I am saying all this in response to all the different opinions expressed in the different commentaries on this report. 

    There were those who spoke of his stupidity for doing what he did, there were those who spoke of how he should have known that he would be caught, and there were those who spoke of the lack of spiritual upbringing and so on, then there were those who knew the kid and how he was raised by good parents who tried to to make sure he would turn out to be a good citizen.

    All of these are opinions! Whether we be a psychologist  a doctor a teacher or a preacher, we're all humans and are all subject to the basic strengths and weaknesses that comes with being human. There is that most important organ which all humans treasure, it's called a brain, and it is one of the most important, yet one of the most vulnerable of all body parts because it can change from it's normal function to something manic in the blink of an eye, just by a thought.  

    So when I hear about these things such as what this young man did, it does not surprise me. I only pray that some how this young man will be able to pay his debt to society without having to spend time in Northward.  For, in going there, he will be molded into a professional before he comes out .

    I will end here, but before I do I will say this and I hope I will not offend  anyone in the religious community  by saying this! One of the most revered persons of the Holy Bible is David  King of Israel, and I use him as an example of how unpredictable is the human psyche. The mind!

    One evening as he looked across to another building he saw on the roof  the wife of one of his soldiers , "and apparently she was not dressed to go to temple", and as he looked and pondered what to do, just like that "he" was smitten, and so he now began thinking of how to have her, so much so, that he had the husband killed, so that he then was free have this fair maiden for himself. and in doing this he  had committed three different sins, that of Lust, Enviousness and Murder, for all of which he was forgiven. 

    So! If David, a man of God, greatest of all biblical kings  was pardoned for such a vicious murder, I ask you!   Why can't we, "GIVE YOUNG  AARON ANOTHER CHANCE." 

  2. Anonymous says:

    How does simply gaining ten GCSEs make him a 'top student?'

    • Anonymous says:

      It is relative.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because in the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm…because he was among a small minority that did so?

      He also probably excelled at reading comprehension, unlike you:

      "Clyde Allen said that McLaughlin had been an outstanding student when he was at school, winning awards for academic prowess".

      There is always some expat idiot looking to put down Caymanians.  

  3. Slowpoke says:

    " Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid", a book edited by Robert Sternberg, provides some insight into this problem.  Basically, academic intelligence does not necessarily correlate with the ability to correctly assess probablties (like getting caught).

    There are also personality features that come into play, such as impulsiveness, laziness, thrill seeking, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      It'd be a start if some of our regular police had just a snippet of academic intelligence!

    • Anonymous says:

      in fact, there seems to be an positive correlation between intelligence and the likelihood of risky behaviour.

  4. Unison says:

    Parents push their kids to achieve academicallyand send them to these expensive Universities and Colleges, all to find that there is a higher education than these they lack. The world educates for body and mind, but no mention of the spirit… they don't believe in the spirit, that a person is made up of a spirit too!  So like Bob Marley, they are constantly graduating thieves and murderers. Young people who are full of knowledge like the Bible say, but have no wisdom. I guess it is now left with the parents to impart that wisdom, but what do you do when the state demands that your children MUST be educated through their education systems. I pray for the children of the Cayman Islands, they have so much potential but so much against them.

    • Anne T. says:

      I bought a pound of Islam, 2 pounds of Christianity and a quart of Judaism just a week ago, and all I got was indigestion.  I don't think fictional characters are the answer to a corrupt ethical structure.  If it were, giving your daughters up for rape and indulging in slavery would be fine and and killing non-believers would be mandatory (so says the OT Bible, right?).  Who thinks that's ethical?  I mean with my mixed religious diet last week, I'd have to kill myself just based on the Old Testament I had Monday, plus all the people that delivered it to me.  Let's try something else, like a rationally-based ethical structure that isn't full of XXXXXXXX.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great philosophers that came up with rational and ethical principles believed in God. I pray for you.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is a positive correlation between both IQ and intelligence and atheism.  Put another way, there is a positive correlation between both a low IQ and a low education and a belief in God.

          • Anonymous says:

            Anon 0724 your commentdoes not bare that correlation.

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL. So you are hoping you will be seen as intelligen because you are an atheist? There are plenty of stupid atheists.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thats because a large majority atheists are elite scientists and/or educated fools. Put another way, being a atheist is pretty much a requirement for being a scientist, just like putting morals aside for financial gain like most executives and big business types.

  5. Kadafe says:

    Poor excuse. If he is so smart he should have known to take a  lower paying job for the meantime till something better comes along instead of hanging around on the streets waiting for the "perfect" job. That what smart people would do. Do what they can till they can do better. Lock him up.

    • Anonymous says:


      1. A bank employee steals $5k from their till
      2. A hedge fund manager steals $100k from clients
      3. A hair dresser employee does hair at the employers salon but does not record it and pockets the money
      4. A supermarket employee does not scan groceries for their friends
      5. A gas station worker is held at gunpoint for cash
      6. A person who writes bounced chqs with no intention/method of payment for items received

      These are all forms of theft and a person/s who commit any of these crimes are labeled “thief”.  Can you ever get back a good name for yourself if you have done any of the above? Is a person considered reprehensible even if they have turned their life around? Do any of these crimes simply equate to just a “mistake or momentary lapse in judgment” if it was a onetime offence or does a person need to steal multiple times to be a thief no matter what?  

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a fool- lock him up. You reap what you sew.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you mean -Reap what you sow ,or Rip what you sew? Right now you are not making sense. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I have been a high school teacher for over 2 decades. I have seen it all. Some of my brightest students who I thought had their lives in control and would really "be something" have ended up "blowing their futures" one year out . Then, some of my worst students – " the gangsters in high school"- have pulled their lives together after they left my building, gone on to a four year college and are now making over $60.000 in a legal job. I have seen the "ganja smoking" teen become the top detective in the city. High school is the stepping stone. It is up to them what they do with their future. I always tell them that they have choices to make and I always hope that they make positive ones. It is just a shame that some of them , do not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do who is the pot huffing cop? We all want to know. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, but he is not in GC.  When I first saw him he asked me if I remembered his h.s. years…I said, "oh yeah with a huge smile", but I always figure…let bygones be bygones. He has turned into a great cop and is a great asset to the community.

        • Anon says:

          The poster didnt say he/she taught school in the Cayman Islands. 

    • Ya Mon says:

      I sewed a button on a pillow 2 days ago and didn't reap anything.  Took a nap on the pillow though, and that turned out OK.  Except that someone robbed my house while I was asleep, but that's expected these days.  Maybe that's what I reaped from my sewing?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It really is easy to speculate because none of us know exactly what he is involved in and why he robbed a store. I assume, given him being shot at before and refusing to come forward about who did it, is he is wrapped up in some bad stuff. Good people do stupid things. Smart people do stupid things. Unfortunately, we need to keep balance in our society and he will/should 'pay' for his crimes. A lesson to be learnt, a deterrent for others. If he demonstrates good behaviour and seeks to better himself, one would hope he can be offered early parole. He needs to speak with someone and get off the rock when it is all said and done. Start fresh and escape whatever it is that is keeping him/encouraging him/enticing him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck getting off the rock as a convicted criminal who spent time in prison! I am sure other countries are just dying for him to become a member of their society…………

      • Anonymously says:

        He will get instructions in prison from the accountant who was imprisioned in South Africa, stole from the Canadian government got a clean police record and took a firm in Cayman for thousands.  If he follow his instructions he might just end up as CEO of a Fourtune 500 company far away from this rock.

        • Anonymous says:

          I love it that this single example is churned out again and again by the same flamer.

          • Anonymous says:

            The flamethrower cites the crime that an upstanding key employee did that was far beyond what any native has ever done, yet you have the galls to try to throw cold water because it was done by a criminal expat.  You had better believe this is one that will not go quietly into the night.  

            Yours sincerely – the Flamer 



  8. Anonymous says:

    He's just a bad egg, folks. Deal with it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Only the bad commit crimes.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why are most people feeling sorry for the criminal in this case?  What about his victims: the people he robbed and the police at the scene?  Each day they have to live with the truma they went through.  Remember an intelligent person made this choice. He decided to commit armed robbery and now he must pay the price AND society must demand it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I know Aaron and I am really saddened by these events that have taken place in his life.

    Aaron was given a goodbackground and foundation, he just did not take advantage and once he turned 18 , felt he was his own man and was no longer under his parents control and refuse to accept their guidance and the guidance of others( including myself and my family) he headed down the wrong path.

    I however blame this on his young, immature, lack of confidence and a sense of invincible mind set, that nothing can happen to me perception that some young people have at one time or another.

    From the article and with some personal insight I have on the situation it does appear that he was pressured by some of his “not the best upstanding other young persons company” in our society that he associated with as friends. Again no one but him is to blame for the poor decisions that he made and I hope he now recognizes that the same persons “backing him” when he did the crime, were nowhere when he was caught and placed in jail. It was his own family that was there to assist him and help him through this self inflicted circumstance.

    One of the things I teach and instill in my children is a sense of worth and an ability to think for themselves and not follow the crowd or do something because it is “cool” and everyone is doing it. If it is wrong or against the moral code you are taught, just because the so call “in crowd” is doing it does not change the fact that it is wrong and still against the moral code you are taught.

    It is a very stupid and costly mistake, but it is not the end of the world and all his potential is not lost. He can still move on from this and become an upstanding citizen of this community and someone his children can look up to and be proud of. However like everything else the CHOICE his ultimately HIS to make and no one can make him want it he has to want it for HIMSELF and his children.


  12. Anonymous says:

    At least jail might help reduce the unmarried mother problems a little bit for the next decade or so.

  13. Hear, hear - to be fair says:

    Other side of the coin to be fair….Parents listen up!!

    I had a prominent and wealthy Caymanian in my office the other day telling me how his clever nephew was interested in IT and maybe my firm had a job for him. We did not have any openings at that level.  The uncle said he his clever nephew was offered a job in one of the top 3 law firms here in the "mail room" and declined it.  THIS is the problem!! 

    I told the businessman that I had started out washing dishes in a restaurant when I was a teenager (my parents made me pay for my own car insurance and petrol if I wanted an economy car to share with my siblings when I turned 17.) and this youth was being way too picky.  Just because his wealthy parents paid for his USA degree did not give himm the right to walk into any entry level IT job!  I would hire the dishwasher that is struggling in commuity college instead!  Hear me local parents…. until you STOP giving pocket money and start forcing your teens into part time burger shack, dive shack, bring home a paycheque mentality…you are feeding this problem.

    It pains me to see hard working white collar middle-aged Caymanians baby these grown arrogant boys. (BullSh*T.)  Be the PARENT you think you are and round up every single youth in your family (nices, nephews, cousins, under the age of 25 and throw them at the NWDA and any sweeping the floor jobs….)

    We will not break this cycle until the hiring exec expats see young Caymanians coming up the ranks and working hard.  THAT is what I want to see on a resume.  Ask any wealthy expat here and I promise you that over HALF are self- made men and women….they were not raised with a silver spoon!!!  No, the expat mentality is work hard and SEEK opportunity by proving your own worth.  Ask most of the successful epxats and you will hear stories of dishwashers and drivers, blue collar success and clawing up the ladder.  That is a mark of worth andrespect… not gang tags and tattoos.

    This boy's sad story fuels the myth and it is only from our own local community and getting these kids off the street can we prove that they deserve a chance (not entitled to one.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm 2 years past getting my MBA and I'm still an assistant.  Hardworking, "from the bottom up" young Caymanians do exist as well..

      • Anonymous says:

        But post-recession MBAs are two a penny.  Everyone who had nothing to do did an MBA between 2007 and 2011.  the expectation that sucha common piece of paper should significantly accelerate promotion is an outdated one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you have an opening in the mailroom I would take it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you have an opening in the mailroom I would take it.

    • CaymanFisting says:

      Amen and BRAVO hear hear to be fair!!!  Your comment/posting hit the nail right on the head 

  14. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, did he pass his maths GSE, or did he take statistics?  Many local criminals would do well to calculate the risk/reward ratios before committing the crime. Six hundred dollars and a gold ring, plus a brief adrenalin rush for a possible ten years in jail, amount to a very bad deal indeed.   And perhaps he failed to calculate the other consequences. With such  a serious criminal record, his ability to travel off-island has probably dropped to zero, and he can forget fnding a decent job now. Perhaps he wasn't so smart after all.

    • Anonymous says:

      In fact if you are a good criminal then the economic analysis probably is in favor of criminality as the detection rates, conviction rates and punishments are all so poor/diluted.  Just this bunch were badly organised amateurs.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Let's stop making pathetic excuses for immorality, greed and selfishness. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Teen pregnancy is a Caribbean tradition that has zero causality to imported permit labour.  Cayman needs to wake up to the socio-economic blow back of teen pregnancy, and take a firm stance on health, career, and family planning education – if we want to have any hope of arresting and reversing the trend.  The surest way to annul your potential and cancel your hopes and dreams is to become a struggling parent in your teens.  "Glamourous Granny" competitions with competitors in their 40's, certainly doesn't send a positive message either!

    • Anonymous says:

       A granny in her forties could have had her first child at age 21 and her child in turn followed suit. What is wrong with that? A glamorous granny in her mid thirties is a different matter.

      Anyway, how does this relate to the topic?  

      • Anonymous says:

        Read Freakanomics and what happened in Romania when they legalised abortion. Unwanted children are often abused neglected children…who grow up to be criminals. It is a sad but true fact. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Read John DiNardo, Freakonomics: Scholarship in the Service of Storytelling

          which refutes that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Making abortions more readily available wouldbe a long term measure to help reduce crime levels.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what teen pregnancy has to do with his decision to ROB somewhere. Becoming a teen parent should make one strive that much harder to accomplish something in life and be a role model for the child. So, sorry to burst your irrelevant bubble but it’s not the brightest move to make wrong assumptions that a set back like teen pregnancy demolishes one’s opportunities and potential altogether. If that ignorant perspective of yours was true, every teen parent wouldn’t amount to anything. Enjoy the plate of “humble pie” you just got served.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure how old Steve Jobs mother was when she had him and gave him up, but he did alright (except for that Apple Maps fiasco)

    • Anonymous says:

      I have taught this young man and he is essentially a good person.


      my suspicion is that he may have fallen into the trap of drugs — of course, I just don't know.  Whatever ensnared hm, however, I hope he is able to pull himself out of this sad bog and turn his life around. We have all fallen in some way or will fall, but for the grace of God.

      i wish him well in moving forward.  

      You can recover your life, Aaron, and I will be rooting for you.


      • Anonymous says:

        Good people don't threaten to shoot people.  End of discussion. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Just because you say 'end of discussion' doesn't mean it's the end of the discussion. 'Good' people and 'bad' people do all kinds of incongruous stuff. 

        • Castor says:

          How sanctimonious you are. Hopefully this young man (doesn't matter if he is a Caymanian or not) will turn his life around, It is possible.

  17. Anonymous says:

    although I don't agree with what he did, and if I was a victim I wouldn't probably sympathize, but there has to be more.  Something is missing….we need to think of how we are affected by society and the very difficult decisions one have to make once leaving school at probably 16 years old! I do hope that he can find a way to turn this horrible part decison and events in his life to help others to not make the same type of mistakes.  People also need to be given a second chance.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    The terror knowingly caused by brandishing a fake gun during a crime merits every day of the ten year minimum sentence.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      In the future we should always remember to ask the robbers whether their gone is real or fake…

  19. Anonymous says:

    What do you expect? Caymans main income is from banking and tourism. Please tell me which young caymanian is seeing or making ANY money from tourism.. The waterfront is grossly FULL of foreign businesses and a local man can barely sell coconuts to tourist. Keep it up Cayman, the worse is yet to come

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of the stalwarts who built Cayman did not have the opportunity to gain 1 GCSE or attend High School which was for the privileged and had to be satisfied with a Standard(Grade) 6 education. Quite a few went on to become world reknowned Sea Captainsand Marine Engineers, without sacrificing their common sense. 10 GCSEs shows you can pass exams, but true learning means applying such knowledge. This shows you that there are different types of intelligence, with common sense being the most uncommon.

      • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      So he came from a good family had goood grades SO WHAT…I hope he gets the same sentence that someone who didn't come from a good family and didn't get good grades.  He had all the opportunities in life and he didn't take them.  These young men are idiots and have no morals.  THink abot it, they don't think twice about shooting each other, they don't think twice about robbing someone, if anything this young man is worse then the ones who werent' given anything.  

  20. anonymous says:

    What nationality is he?


    • Anonymous says:

      You only ask this question when you know the culprit is Caymanian so that you can maintain the myth that all crime is committed by Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Myth??  A large percentage is committed by our own people from white collar to corrupt officials to those who have yet to be caught to the street thug….get a reality check OUR PEOPLE are perpetuating crimes not only against ex-pats and tourists but against us which means in many instances their extended family if not their immediate family.

        This so called intelligent, essentially good, upstanding young man made a conscious decision to commit an act of violence and terrorism.  Threatening to shoot people especially officers should draw maximum sentence.  From his prison cell he can further his education by taking distance learning, by writing on how not to lead your life, by willing to work with prison officials and speaking to our youth through outreach programs.  When he shows he has done this and proven himself only then should he be released.  He should also have to perform hard labour for a basic wage with such wage being applied and given to his victims to pay for the trauma he caused.

        we are a nation of cowards and enablers now and our forefathers are no doubt wondering what the hell happened to hard work and good conduct and pride and patience.

        • Anonymous says:

          You should take remedial reading lessons: "the myth that all crime is committed by Caymanians".

          You're just another Uncle Tom trying to curry favour with expats.


          • Anonymous says:

            Anon 16:19: I think you are the one who needs some remedial English lessons. Like many others in Cayman, you don't seem to understand the meaning of the word "myth" and its effect on the meaning of a sentence in which it appears. The poster you responded to and called an Uncle Tom did understand the meaning correctly and his/her post follows on from that. Try again, bobo.

            Uncle Remus.

            • Anonymous says:

              You pompous ass, mythwas used correctly in my post.

              Concise Oxford English Dictionary – myth. 2. a widely held but false belief.


              • Anonymous says:

                No one believes that "all crime (my emphasis) is committed by Caymanians". Obviously there are non Caymanians involved too. But the statistics very clearly show that the great majority of it is indeed committed by Caymanians….the born kind. There is no avoiding that sad fact.

                • Anonymous says:

                  you are simply wrong.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    OK, well "simply", give us the Northward figures which have shown for the last 30 years Caymanians are the majority inmates.Be careful of an argument put to me recently that the main culprits (Jamaicans obviously, lets be frank, that's what the "Caymanians aren't criminals" bunch believe) don't show up in Nothward because they don't get caught. I hate to think our Caymanian criminals are less bright than the expat ones..

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Less experienced and remain on Island and therefore more likely to be caught.  

                  • Anonymous says:

                    And you, 14:44 are "simply" an ostrich with your head in the sand. Possibly a bigoted ostrich too though I don't know that.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The statistics can only show those who are caught and convicted of crimes. Most crimes are not solved and many at Northward under the label "Caymanian" are not born Caymanians at all. 

          • Anonymous says:

            "Uncle Tom"..isn't that an American slang?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually ,he is British.

      • Anonymous says:

        lol … I bet he has got a British Passport though!

        • Anonymous says:

          I don't know what the "lol" is for. You people are always quick to remind us that Cayman is not a nation and Caymanian is not a nationaltiy. Well, his nationality is British. What's that? He is 'paper British'? LOL.    

    • Anonymous says:

      He's a child of God, same as you 

  21. Anonymous says:

    A sign of things to come for this small country.

    When the younger generation give into the easy way of life and their frustrations without proper guidance or opportunities we are looking at Jamaica and Bahamas redux

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nowhere on earth with more opportunities that Cayman.  So don't use that as an excuse.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Too much "church" in his life. Among other things.

  23. Kato says:

    This stems from our great immigration policies. Bottom line, caymanians are not given opportunities atjobs so what else are they to do??

    I hope our politicians are taking note as there will be many more crimes if changes are not made.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not given opportunitites for jobs? If only I had the opportunities that exist here when I was growing up! What a load of crap. There are all kinds of mentorship programs, educational programs, grant programs, placement programs… etc etc. You bet your boots there are opportunities. However, they all involve starting on the bottom rung and learning your way up the ladder. It seems to me that people here don't see certain jobs as stepping stones towards bigger and better things. There are opportunities here but young people have to be willing to go out and seize them and then work hard and long to get up that ladder. If not, then it isn't a lack of opportunities, it's a lack of drive and work ethic. Bottom line.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for being the one person to post something sensible.  There simply is no excuse for criminal activity – especially if you have the education this young man apparently has.  Its all down to attitude and nothing to do with opportunities or lack thereof.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup! I had to put myself through college. My parents couldn't afford it and as a foreign student in the USA, many scholarships and grants were not available to me. I commuted 45 minutes to college/university each way, every day and worked full time while going to school. My homework was usually done between the hours of 9:p.m. and midnight. I also worked weekends, including times  when my college friends enjoyed spring break and other semester breaks. Oh, did I mention that English is not my first language and I did my bachelor studies in a foreign language?

        Honestly, for 10 years I never thought that what I did was anything out of the ordinary and just something anyone would do if they would get the opportunity to gain an education from a reputable school. Only in the last couple of years am I beginning to realize that so many young people are more than happy to throw their opportunities away. Why? Probably because they never had to fight or work for their opportunities. Too many parents put themselves into debt for their children – be it cars, education, vacations, you name. From what I have observed, children will never value those things if they never ever had to work for them…….so they are looking for an easy way to get rich quick………… 

    • Anonymous says:

      What a complete cop-out.  There are more opportunities and less people applying for them here in Cayman than anywhere else.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well I heard a gentleman that was once married to a Caymanian  and who himself is now a caymanian spoke on Talk Today a while back and said in his country of origin there were people with over seven O'levels working in KFC.  So I guess this was part of the design for our young people. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what happens all over the world.  People get their qualifications and then take a first job in Burger King, KFC, whatever it takes to pay the bills.  However, this doesn't happen in Cayman because for some reason the youngsters think they're too good to start at the bottom and work their way up like everybody else does.

      • Anonymously says:

        Yes bozo tell me which first world country that you know of any native college graduate with a degree working as a server or at the drive tru of a fast food joint for minimum wage.  This is the problem with all you clowns from third world countries that expect our young people to accept what you have to do in your country of origin for survival.  Caymanians did not have to steal, sell themselves for food, clothes or to acquire material possessions.  We lived a simple yet contented life yet you all come here go get a better life at any cost and in the process expect us to do the same.  Not in my back yard or house, if I want to put mr foot up in my chair in my house that is my business and I have a right to, however if you want to do the same them go to your country and tell your four year college graduate to start from the bottom at Burger King while you and your expat colleagues come here with high school or secondary passes and want our best jobs. Not here Bo, Bo try that crap else where like in past SA.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sad storey but not surprised here, one has to wonder if a kid does so well in school he must have a fairly decent foundation, but reading the article carefully makes you understand that this young man has some deep underlaying issues….. His attorney pointed out that he was shot atbefore!  Think that was just him being unlucky? Nah he's gotten himself mixed up into that bad boy shit…… The cool stuff…….. I'll say this, hate to see his potential go to waste but not sorry for him…… He knew damn well what he was doing and no its not the government's fault, it's his own dam fault. 

    Simply put, "no body has to be bad, no body"

  26. Anonymous says:

    It is indeed quite unfortunate the turn of events. I have known this young man almost two decades. Having gone school with his older brothers and while his mother was principal of my primary school. Father is a pastor. Top student and even better athelete. 10GCSE passes? How many kids from JGHS leave with that many subjects and turn to a life of crime? Sometime else is going on here. May god help him. Pray for him and his two kids instead of judging this one. Crime was quite disturbing. but something else is not being said

    • Anonymous says:

      If we cannot judge him on being an armed robber, can we at least acknowledge that by fathering 2 kids by 21 he is not helping…

    • Anonymous says:

      Sound like he was forced to commit this offence. Note the sweating when cornered etc.  I hope Quin, J. gives him a chance, maybe a non-custodial sentence, even though the police officer was in fear of her life, which really makes this an aggravated event.  Perhaps one of our businesses on Island can monitor his situation in prison and provide some form of assistance to him in relation to his rehabilitation efforts.  So unfortunately sad. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Forced to commit the offence – yeah right (rolls eyes).  Pray tell me why should be note the sweating when cornered?  What is this supposed to prove?  He had already committed the offence by this time so please don't claim this substantiates anything.

        • Anonymous says:

          Jeez …. before all the expats, permit holders and cheap, foreign workers turned up, who did you actually blame anything on?


      • Anonymous says:

        Sad is children starving, dieing of diseases like cancer- this is a fool, a useless boy- he deserves NOTHING, he has earned NOTHING

    • Anonymous says:

      I pray they throw away the key.

      • Anonymous says:

        To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/11/2013 – 08:21.                                   I hope if they do so, that you are locked safely inside.You are a heartless individual.

    • Anonymous says:

      If he really had 2 kids before he turned 21 we are able tosee part of the problem here, unfortuntely it is a large one in this society.

      • Anonymous says:

        Him having two children has nothing to do with his crime. This just goes to show how ignorant, blind and simple minded some of you caymanians really are.  He is a child seeking for help.

        Yes maybe he was mixed in the wrong crowd, or maybe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I have known this young man for quite some time and he has strived tremendoulsly for his young family.  He was never a bad person growing up neither was he at the time he was incarcerated for this offence.  He just had alot of underlying issues which may have forced him to do what he have done.

        Have you ignorant people ever sit back and think 'what if this was my child'  I bet you haven't because you all are to busy pointing your fingers at other people's children yet when your own child does shit you throw the blame else where.

        Grow up ad stop bing like our young teen carryin suss all over the globe and cant even help their own selves.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a brillant son like this young man but I was very lucky in that he couldn't wait to get out of here and go to college.  That's what should have happened with this young man.  I have another son who was sticking around and not getting into serious trouble but hanging with wrong crowds.  I shipped him off to college in the US and he came back with his degree and got a good job.  We have to push our kids sometimes so that they do the right thing.

  27. Anonymous says:

    So what has he been doing since he left school?  It's been a while.

    • Cayman Concern says:

      Like most he probably could not find a skill, trade, or job so hung out with hisfriends and got into a bad group.  People scream at me for saying there are entry level work permit approvals that should be denied to make way for the youth (like a top student) but until Tara Rivers cracks down on the rubber stamping of Govt and private sector work permits and we aim for zero unemployment, this problem will grow!

      dont tell me that a hard working top student sports star was passed by, the village failed this child.

      • uberbollox says:

        Utter BS! There is more opportunity here than anywhere I have ever seen.

        Fell in with a bad crowd? He made is choice if that was the case.

        Let's blame it on status grants, work permits, Tara rivers and anyone else who happens to be passing by.

        When is it going to be his fault?

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree completely! I met someone the other night working three jobs. D'you know what he said? That sometimes you gotta put your head down and just do it. Unfortunately, and it isn't just in Cayman, that people don't seem to want to do work for minimum pay. To me, a job is a job. Money is money. Some money is better than no money! Is it pride, I don't know. Annddd….Cayman is a bit like keeping up with the Jones, isn't it? People want to live a certain lifestyle and it just isn't reality. Not everyone can be so lucky.

        • Anonymous says:

          I blame most of the social ills affecting this islands on the status grants of 2003.  Cayman  was a great place prior to the mass status grants, Pandora's box opened up in 2003 and every thing that was wrong and bad descended on Cayman and spoilt it forever.

    • anonymous says:

      Probably knocking kids out and getting a l'il hep handed to him here and there. I hazard a guess that it was not meaningful employment.

    • Hear, hear says:

      Fathering 2 kids and robbing a store with a gun, swell education and parenting.  Shame on all of those who thought it was the other's responsibility to raise this young man.  Parents, church, schools, govt all share the blame….(and to the Mothers of the baby mammas- shame on you for letting your girls lift their skirts too!)  Another burden on our social system – body count: 5 = 2 baby mammas, 2 fatherless children, 1 custodial sentence at Northward.  HOW $$$ does our failings cost us?

      Would it not be better to actually have a school placement programs for 17 year olds leaving schools, mentoring program to replace work permits, skill and trade schools? There must be a path laid for success to happen.

      I also blame the greedy local businessmen who would rather hire their middle management from overseas to save a dime instead of offering a good quality salary by getting a Caymanian for life and pride of a job well done.  Shall I name the retail. security, event management, tourism companies, law firms, ALL who source employees from couriers to IT from overseas???  Shame on those of you who create the glass front door for promising young men.  Yes, YOU CHAMBER MEMBERS- you are fueling this class war and gang options!!!  (Hang you head low, what kind of a job could YOU offer for this boy to raise his 2 children?  none…I did not think so.)

  28. Anonymous says:

    I do not know this young man but I empathize withhis situation. There are so many young brilliant and handsome young Caymanian that just get lost in their island because they are not given an opportunity.  No young man with 10 GCSE's goes bad because he wants to. First for him to have gained those subjects he had to have some ambition. We as a society need to seek for good young Caymanians and give them an opportunity and treat them fairly. The things I witness in these islands with the locals could never happen in my country.  We need to help these young people or we are going to become a dying nation. The young people or either in prison, or dying in car accidents, or shooting up each other, suicidal, druggist or downright lazy and disrespectful.  Therefore, whenever we can identify a good young person, we should genuinely reach out and help them.  Sometimesall these young people need is for someone to show them that they care. Will you be that someone?

    • Anonymous says:

      They have every opportunity, more than probably anywhere else in the world.  It is not society's fault, these men are lazy, greedy and immoral.

    • anonymous says:

      You have far more opportunity and support here than any other country I have seen. That BE doesn't wash.

    • Anonymous says:

      And this my fellow Caymanians, is the problem with this country.  Opportunities are not GIVEN, they are SEIZED!  Stop waiting for the silver platter and get over your inflated sense of entitlement!  Expats are not taking your jobs – you are giving them away by not showing up for interviews, work, abuse of sick days, etc.  I'm so sick of the blame game.  If this young man came to me out of school with those accolades, I can tell you we would have hired in a heartbeat.  Do you really think we want to pay thousands an thousands of dollars for work permits??? AGHHHH!

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree entirely. As a Caymanianthat started at the very bottom of my profession and worked my way to the top I have no greater joy than seeing other Caymanians do the same. My company has hired and developed many young Caymanians, in fact it is at the top of the list of most rewarding of my responsibilities.  I find it very sad that this young man with all his potential indicated by his academic results ended up in this situation rather than in tertiary education building a strong career base. This seems to be happening way too often in Cayman with lots of talent that never seem to be properly developed. As parents and community leaders we  need to give an honest assessment of what is required to be successful: a strong learning foundation(academics or trades), committment and hardwork in your chosen field, willingness to work initially in lower paid jobs to build practical knowledge and experience, being the best you can be at whatever level you are at, learning the value of a dollar and living within your means.  The worst thing we can do is give our kids a free ride with handouts for luxury items and entertainment. For school aged kids that want luxury items, let them work for it even it is cutting the lawn, washing cars or doing the dishes. A part time job while outside the home would be better. There are many opportunities for young Caymanians today that show the interest and desire to seek the opportunities. Unfortunately there are many more distractions today than yesteryear such as the pressure to join into the partying with alcohols and drugs.  And the drug dealers certainly will come knocking at the door.

      • Anonymously says:

        Bull crap in the 1970's to around 1999 you could not freely employ expats like you can today as a result Caymanians were given a chance and excelled.  If it was as easy then as it is now to obtain a work permit for an expat there would be no successful Caymanian in the work force.  Do  us all a favour and cut the BS and stop trying to patronize us with your fluff we know your kind, just like they did in Bahamas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do they need be handsome for us to reach out and help?

    • Anonymous says:

      And therein lies the problem, Cayman.  So the poster implies his family and friends and community didn't try to help him?  He comes from an admirable family, from all accounts.  The simple answer is the young man fell into the wrong crowd, the drinking / drugs / quick easy money without applying yourself and working hard like everyone else, crowd.  Stop the nonsense and the coddling.  Let young people realize there are consequences for their actions, whether you are bright, or whether you are not so bright, and if you do the crime, you will do the time, regardless of who you are or what accolades you have – that doesn't make you any better than a common thug.  Then maybe, just maybe, this realization will make them think twice and the crime rate might go down.  I know someone who told me a story that he was 8 years old,  very rebellious and always getting into trouble as he used to hang with the local troublesome neighbourhood boys, and one day they found a gun and started playing with it and it went off accidentally.  Thankfully no one got hurt.   His dad, a professional eminent member of society, didn't run go coddling him like I see a lot of Caymanian parents do nowadays. Neither did his mom.  Instead, his dad called the police and told them to lock up his 8-year old son in jail (of course he secretly prepped his police friends beforehand to just scare his son with the threat of jail to put the fear of god into him so that he would think twice before ever doing something like that again.  Guess what? It worked.  When the police showed up, he bawled his eyes out and then they told him afterward that as long as he didn't get himself into trouble again, he wouldn't have to go to jail.  From that day, he stayed away from the local troublesome kids in his neighbourhood, applied himself, and stayed out of trouble. Maybe his dad was a little harsh, but it certainly conveyed the lesson.  Its simple.  Actions have consequences.  The kids need to learn that, instead of spoiling and coddling.

  29. Anonymous says:

    With that pedegree, you'd think he'd have tried a white collar caper 

    • Anonymous says:

      THey can't blame the usual "single parent" thing on this one….and again praying isn't going to help this young man for if praying helped then we wouldn't have ANY PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD!!!!