Pawn shop robber gets 4.5yrs

| 03/12/2013

(CNS): A 21-year-old Prospect man was jailed for four and half years Tuesday for the robbery of a Bodden Town pawn shop in May last year. Aaron McLaughlin got four years for the robbery and three years for possession of an imitation firearm, which Justice Charles Quin, the presiding judge, ordered to run concurrently. However, he was given a further six months, to run consecutively, for threatening a police officer with the fake weapon following a chase after the hold-up at the Cashwiz store, where McLaughlin had stolen over $600 and a gold ring. The judge said he believed a drug debt had led the young man, who was of previous good character and had once been a top student, to commit the crime.

As he handed down the sentence, Justice Quin said that McLaughlin had begun using ganja and then cocaine just before he committed the robbery, which was his first offence. The judge said it was this drug misuse and his association with criminals that saw him fall victim to these people over a drug debt, as he was also shot in the arm by an unknown gunman prior to the crime.

Given the defendant’s previous good character and high attainment levels at school, winning awards and honours and displaying athletic as well as academic success, the judge said it was a tradgey that drug misuse had led him into serious crime.

Justice Quin also commended the bravery of two unarmed police officers who chased McLaughlin after the robbery, even though they were unaware that the weapon he had was fake. The judge said they acted quickly and with courage but that it must have been terrifying for the officer involved when McLaughlin was cornered and raised his weapon and threatened him, saying, “I will shoot you! I will shoot you!”

He was eventually tackled to the ground by the female officer before being arrested and taken into custody.

Justice Quin also encouraged McLaughlin to use his time at HMP Northward to continue his education and try and complete his degree. He said the defendant was still young and could still return to the productive life for which he had shown potential when he was at school if he stayed away from drugs and the criminals with whom he had begun associating.

Handing down the total 4.5 year sentence, Justice Quin ordered the time served by McLaughlin since his arrest after the crime some 18  months ago to be taken into account.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is so heartbreaking. Having known this young man when he was growing up, I know he had such a bright future ahead of him. It's very sad. I just have to add that it is unbelievable that judges will sentence someone like him (who could probably benefit from counseling and drug rehab and be given a second chance) to several years in prison, but sick, heinous criminals such as child molestors get only 6 months! Where is the justice in that? These islands seriously need a change in their laws.

  2. Sweet Baby Jesus! says:

    Please save us from this foolishness.  Who made him use drugs? It appears he was intelligent enough and old enough to know better.  Did he identify the drug dealers? Did he identify who shot him?  Ultimately he is responsible for his actions. The "facts" used as mitigants in this case could also be used to argue that he should be held accountable as he well knew what he was getting into.

  3. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    We will not be safe until the Penal Code is amended to provide a 25 year mandatory sentence for any armed robbery.

    These people are terrorists and they are destroying these islands and our way of life.

    Lock them up until they are too old to engage in violent crime.

    • Anonymously says:

      I agree, change the penal code to 25 years for robbery but this should also include for armed robbery, theft from a bank or any work place by their employee and common theft. Included also should be the employers that deduct pension from their employees and do not pay it into the pension fund.  In my opinion these are all acts of dishonesty and should carry the same sentence.  One scumbag is no different from the other they are all dishonest and deserve the same fate.


      • Anonymous says:

        Let's turn  Little Cayman into  a Penal Colony and send them all there for life for everything.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So you thought only dumb kids grew up to commit crime?

  5. Anonymous says:

    He started with the gateway drugs ganja.  Yet too many here in cayman want to legalize it, no way in hell! One of the bright stars in Cayman's sky is now dim because of it.  

    • Hoping for better days says:

      LMAO. Your ignorance is amusing.

      Alcohol is a gateway drug. Try researching some information on this very broad topic before posting stupid comments which in turn only make YOU look foolish.

      Why is it Caymanian people always look for SOMEONE or SOMETHING to blame when a person commits a crime! Wake-up and stop the rubbish and yes i'm Caymanian, born and bred. I just do not agree with your mentallity at all. Youare mis-informed and ignorant to the truth like so many others on this island. Brain-washed from birth.

      • Castor says:

        You are absolutely correct. I believe it's called self responsibility! We all make choices, we all have free will, nothing comes with out a price tag.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect alcohol was the main and first "gateway drug".  It always is.  You want that banned do you?

      • Anonymous says:

        If it was left up to me ban all harmful drugs in Cayman like they do in Saudia Arabia and make the punishment the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you misunderstood. The drug he was using was cocaine, that amplifies a pretty messed-up mentality and leads you into doing stupid things. Yes, he was smoking some weed as well, but any mixture with hard drugs is bad. I am all for legalizing marijauna because it doesn't contribute to those affects like cocaine does. I am sure if he was high off just weed he'd probably be to hungry to rob the place in the first place and completly forget about it. Me personally I know a lot of invidiuals who only smoke pot and have never EVER tries anything else. I think the key word you are looking for here is "moderation". Alocohol is also a hard-drug and also gets you high,in other words "drunk". Like every drug in this world there are it's pros and cons. I'll list it out for you.

      Alcohol- Can lead to serious brain damage and violence once consumed daily for a prolonged preiod of time. An excessive amount. But we still drink it because it has a lot of beneficial factors to it when taken into moderation. 

      cocaine- Can cause serious SERIOUS side effects and lead to an addiction problem after the first use most of the time. Yeah, some people use it in "moderation" but this is the one drug I always hear is terrifying. Thing about it after teh first use your tolerance level for it increases leading to more quantities each use. It leads to weight loss and DEATH! That's is  huge fucking NO in my book. 

      Weed- Hunger and Laughter. Sounds like a good time. Thing about weed is that it doesn't cause death it doesn't cause addiction and it certainly is not a gateway. The only gateway it leads to is m fridge door. There are negetives, like increased paranoia and sometimes short term memory loss. But all that happens during the high and you can just pretty much calm yourself down within a short period of time. There are a lot of health benefits to it more than negative. 


      I hope this has put some perspective on things for you. Just remember, people die from alcohol abuse, overdose on cocaine, and ZERO deaths just smoking weed. Look it up! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Since you have obviously never used cocaine, I suggest you don't  whine on about something you know nothing about.  

        • Anonymous says:

          That's cute. I guess i know nothing, even from studying it in medical school. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    What's the purpose of a sentence to run concurrently? So dumb.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did this scumbag name the drug delaers that he claims he was in debt to?  If not why give him any sentencing credit?  Far too short a sentence for a junkie criminal.  He will be out in just over two years.  The fake gun incident should have added 10 years at least.  Will he make good on his opportunties?  Statistics say almost certainly not.  Such criminals are far more likely to commit more crimes.  I would rather he was not on the streets until the mid-2020's.

  8. A NON I MUS says:

    How sad!  Another potential Doctor, Teacher, Scientist or some other professional has again been denied the opportunity of fulfilling his dream. Yes, another  young Caymanian who because of  the systematic neglect and lack of attention given to our youth, by a society whose focus it seems is directed only toward that of personal gain and material wealth and because of this we can find no time for those who need us most. Our young people!! I'm speaking here of all of us  who are leaders or teachers or mothers or fathers or friends or just any member of  our society. We must all take some responsibility in helping these young persons avoid the pitfalls they will encounter in the early years of adulthood.

    It seems to me that our Island is developing into and we are gradually being enveloped by a growing culture of anti social behavior. It seems to me, we believe that as long as these children have a place where they can come home to and have a meal and a place to sleep that our job is done. I say to all parents that having a place to eat and a place to sleep, no matter how comfortable, is but a small part of what these young persons need. Ask yourself! How often have I asked my son or daughter to sit with me, to have a chat about things that THEY may want to talk about. Don't be afraid to ask and let them know that this is not about wanting to know about their personal lives, but that you at one time was at the same age they are and that your concerns and experiences were more than likely similar to those they are having, and because of this, you then perhaps, may be able to  give them some advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of which they may have some concerns. And explain to them that because you more than likely may have  experienced something similar, you feel you may be able to help.  

    Parents! Hug your kids no matter how mature they now seem or how often they will say something like! OH Dad!  [Just don't do it in a public place where there is a lot of their friends]. They are still your kids and they still need love. In fact make it a point to tell them often how much you love them and how proud you are of them, because when a child knows that they are loved they are more likely to listen to your advice.

    Now to those in authority I say, most of you know who the big drug dealers are on this Island. Arrest them and throw them in Northward to spend time with their victims. Yes these kids are victims of a society that allows drugs dealers to operate with impunity while our poor innocent  young people's lives are ruined, and society pays  the price of this antisocial behavior which is a direct result of drug use and other criminal activity, and is responsible for most of the atrocities we now see being committed by these young persons. I say to the RCIP you know who the BIG dealers are Go Get Them! We are losing too many of our young people.

    We are all a part of this society and to a degree we are all responsible, so I say take time to talk with these children, they need someone to listen, they need all need love. 

    • anonymous says:

      He hasn't been denied anything he has engineered own fate. When will it sink in that kids here have far greater facilities, welfare and access to education than any place I have ever been to. It is almost comparable to the Emirates.

      As always, there is always someone or something else to blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a load of crap.  Everything you've just stated is based on assumptions which are incorrect.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is this the result of "society's" neglect etc of our youth? Stop the 1960s sociology nonsense! This boy had a father who was a pastor and a mother who was a teacher/school principal. Ask them what happened to the boy. "Society" has NOTHING to do with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you have written posted is true of some of our youths, but this one was a "privileged child". His father is an upstanding Pastor, his mother is an educator, they have good ethics and I am sure tried to instill the same in their children. He probably becane too big for his briches and decided to do things his own way. Society is not to blame for ho his life turned out. I pray that he will reflect on his life while in prison and on his release really try to put some effort  into becoming a productive member of society and. As Judge Quin stated he is  still young to benefit.

    • load of old bollox says:

      Is there anyone else or some other reason plucked out of the ethos that you may care to blame it on?


    • Anonymous says:

      Expats who have had it made clear that their presence is temporary have no need to care about Cayman's youth or future.

      • Anonymously says:

        If that is the way you feel expat please don't wait until your time is up how ever temporary you might be happier to go now rather than later and be unhappy here.  Hate to see you gone like yesterday, I recommend Dubai they are always looking for good, caring expats. Next!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I really like Justice Quinn.  He is very reasoned and seeks true Justice.  What a man to see beyond the hurt beingcaused in our community by robberies, guns and murders and hand down a sentence in-line with this very sad reality for this young man and that tempers a "big picture reality".  Well done Justice Quinn.  Your honour hear allows me to take my hat off to you.  Clearly this was not a crime motivated by greed but speed…in the broader sense of the word.