Former crack baby becomes teen robber

| 12/12/2013

(CNS): A teenager was sentenced to three and a half years in HMP Northward Wednesday, following his admission to a robbery at a Bodden Town grocery store. The 16-year-old boy, who was only 15 when he committed the crime and cannot be named because of his age, already has a long rap sheet, not least because of his upbringing. This was described in a social inquiry report as “heartbreaking” and down to the “colossal failure of his parents”. The teen was born addicted to crack cocaine and was severely neglected as he grew up, Justice Charles Quin revealed in his sentencing ruling. But despite his terrible start in life, the judge noted that he had to begin taking responsibility for his crimes.

The teen pleaded guilty earlier this year to robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and assault in relation to the daylight hold up at the Lookout grocery store in Bodden Town on 28 May. The teen stole over $900 dollars, scared the staff, owner and customers at the store and also assaulted one member of the public who tried to prevent the crime.

Although he made his escape on a bicycle, witnesses who spotted him leaving alerted the police promptly and as a result he was arrested and later charged.

As he handed down three years for the robbery, another three for the possession of the flare gun to run concurrently and then an additional six months for the assault on the customer, which the judge described as gratuitous violence, Justice Quin said the crimes were very serious.

However, he noted that the young man’s spiral into crime seemed almost inevitable given his background and described the social enquiry report submitted to the court as making “depressing reading”.

Known to the Department of Child and Family Services since he was born addicted to crack, as a child he was neglected by his mother, who has severe drug and alcohol problems, and his violent farther, who has a long criminal history with over 90 conviction and has been to jail many times. The boy was taken into care by the department when he was very young and while at Bonaventure the young boy ran away eight times. The judge said both parents blame each other forthe situation with their son and take no responsibility for their role as parents.

“It is obvious to the court from the review of the SIR that the defendant’s childhood has been devoid of any love, support or guidance,” he said, as he echoed the sentiments of the author of the report. Nevertheless, the judge noted that as the defendant grows older he must take responsibility for his actions. “The defendant must help himself and stay away from criminals and crime,” Justice Quin said.

As he handed down the sentences, the judge pointed to the fear that the teen had created with the crime, as well as the terrifying experience for the man whom the young offender assaulted in the store.

“It is the sincere hope of this court that this young defendant will be immediately enrolled in educational programmes whilst in custody so that in the less than three years ahead he will equip himself to change the course of his life and become a productive member of this society,” Justice Quin added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Crime

About the Author ()

Comments (21)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymou says:

    This is an universal problem and one wonders where were family and human services over the course of this young man's life?

    It is regrettable the parents cannot be named although I doubt they are capable of shame.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "… become a productive member of this society…"


    Sadly, there is little hope for this young person. The pre and post natal abuse that he has suffered have caused him to mentally disabled.


    This is not a criminal matter but a medical matter.


    The kid needs to go to a hospital, not prison; prison is a dead end.

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as he is not on the streets for a long long time they can send him wherever they want.

  3. Anonymous says:

      How can you be a former crack baby?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Many more drugs babies are being born everyday

  5. Jack says:

    Among the various horrific parts of this story, what stands out for me is the 90 convictions of the father.  Caman really needs a three strikes and you're out law to throw useless pieces of xxxx like this in jail permanently (with eligibility for parole in 48 years, to comply with the human rights obligations of the Cayman islands), long before they can run up 90 convictions and father unwanted children with crackheads.  It sucks to be the boy, but the judge is right: it's time for him to accept responsibility for himself and his actions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. Quin!!! Couldn't agree with you more. Hopefully he will not get an education of crime whilst in prison, but take advantange of their school educationprogram, in fact he should be made to do it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am really hoping that this young man will see the error and pointlessness of his ways, get taught that your own actions are your own responsibility and come out to be given a second chance. He is too young to be written off for life. Some of the hate comments written on here have clearly been written by saints, as they clearly have never made mistakes in their life. Yeah right. The difference possibly is we got forgiven and learned valuable lessons. That is what this young man needs too.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Something needs to be done to his parents for producing this child who will be a menace to Cayman for the rest of his life. He will never ever reform. I presume they are all born Caymanians and cannot therefore be deported?

    • Anonymous says:

      His father has been supported by CFS, he has never held a job in his life, in.and out of prison, has produced children who will be a menace to society and is living a good life.  What else could you expect from that life style.  Stop supporting people who have no intention to work and take care of themselves.

    • Anonymously says:

      Product of his society, this is the generation that Cayman needed to spend its resources on.  The government was forewarned that this would happen if certain social policies were not put in place back when money was in unlimited supply, the population was small and times were good.   

      Unfortunately this young man is just one of many, sorry to inform those who believe that we should just lock them up throw away the keys and that's the encyclopedia of the story.  Sorry Bo Bo dey na goin  no whey. Northward prison back to the streets of Cayman, some will come out reformed and some worst pray for the former and not the latter.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nice, 3 years for the robbery and basically nothing for the 10 year mandatory gun conviction. 

  9. Slowpoke says:

    There is little to no vidence that cocaine use during pregnancy, by itself, has an adverse effect on the newborn. However, the other factors that are are often associated with crack use, such as nicotine, poor diet, poverty, etc. do explain a lot more of any evident impairment.

    • Slowpoke says:

      As usual, it is so much easier to follow ideology and hit the "thumbsdown/ troll button" than go to "google scholar" and read the research…

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure which Google you're using lol but any accredited and trustworthy online forum clealy states the adverse effect cocaine use has on an unborn baby. Plus this is crack that we are talkig about – the worse form of cocaine. Besides increased chance of miscarriage, being born addicted, not to mention developmental issues that last a lifetime. It effects the mother and unborn child the same. Not gonna argue this issue as this article is more about Caymans problems with Children and Family Services and debating how mentally ill criminals specifically teen ones should be handled. All I will say is that in my opinion it is insensitive and rude to call a young man a "crack baby" whether its true or not. I might be a criminal too if I was written off by society as a crack baby from something that was no fault of my own. What incentive does he have to lead a normal  life when no matter what he will always be called a crack baby by his own people. Think about how you treat helpless children because you could find yourself the one looking down the barrel of the gun with that "crack baby" behind the trigger! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Crack rots the brain… Crackhead's posts make no sense, but da wa you get wid crack.

  10. 4Cayman says:

    The parents should be jailed too considering he was a minor when the offence occurred. Such a sad story and this is still happening especially babies making babies.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Social Service encourage this!! Rent, food, water bill, light bill and insurance!!!


    So how do you expect them to be any better!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So where is he going to serve his sentence?? In Northward with adults???? Hard core criminals? Life Sentence felons?????? Isn't this against the Human Rights ?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness HMP Northward has offered to step in and provide the love, support, and guidance for the next 3 years.  Like a monestary of peace and love in there.