Inmate accuses prison officers of supplying ganja

| 18/12/2013

(CNS): An inmate from HMP Northward pointed the finger at prison officers as the source of drug smuggling at the country’s jail when he pleaded guilty in Summary Court Tuesday to possession of a small quantity of ganja. Leighton Rankine (37), who is convicted of a firearms offence, received an additional 30 days on his 13 year sentence when he admitted to having around half an ounce of the drug concealed in his glasses case. The drugs were discovered by prison staff when they escorted him to the hospital for medical treatment in August. Following his plea to the charge, when asked for an explanation he implied that the drugs had come from prison officers.

“When the officers stop smuggling it in to the jail and stop selling it to the prisoners, then we will stop smoking it,” he said.

Noting that there was no evidence before the court to support his claim, Magistrate Kirstyann Gunn said that regardless of the source of the ganja or how it became available to him, Rankine still had a choice whether to use the drug or not and he had opted to have it in his possession. Giving him credit for his guilty plea and noting that it was his first offence of this nature in the prison, she said the fact that it was found on him while he was serving a prison sentence was an aggravating factor.

The magistrate said that the level of smuggling and use of drugs in the local prison was a serious concern and as a result there was a need to deter other prisoners as well as Rankine from using the drug in jail as it undermined the rule of law. Handing down her sentence, she added thirty days to Rankine’s current thirteen years, which he received in connection with a shooting outside a West Bay Road night spot.

Rankine, who is a father of four, was accused and convicted on counts of assault, wounding with intent, unlawful use of a firearm and the possession of an unlicensed firearm after a trial in June. The charges related to a fight and then a shooting in the area of the Grand Pavilion parking lot. He escaped an attempted murder rap because the judge decided that he had not intended to kill anyone when he opened fire in the car park during the altercation.

Meanwhile, a second inmate serving time for robbery, who was charged over possession of a much larger quantity of ganja, pleaded guilty but claimed he knew nothing about the drug found in his cell, which he shared with others.

When Jonathan Welcome gave his explanation over the discovery of three packages of ganja in his possession, Magistrate Gunn pointed out that if that was the case he must plead not guilty. However, Welcome was insistent that he take the wrap for the drugs. He said he just wanted to get it over with because he did not want to come back to courtand asked the magistrate to sentence him.

Given the legal implications, however, Gunn ordered the matter to be placed before another court in order to deal with the issue afresh.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    30 days?  Make it a year and drug test every one of the scumbags in there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Legalize the stuff, tax it and the prislon will be empty.

    • Anonymous says:

      So your method of caintaining crime is to make crimes legal.

      Brilliant do you work for the police?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done HMCIPs catching him red handed. Shame he tried to divert the blame on Prison staff. He broke the law, again, got caught, great work keep it up

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent work by Prison staff catching this inmate trying to smuggle drugs back to the Prison.  As usual blaming someone else, and failing to take the responsibility for his actions.Keep up the good work HMP.

    • Anonymously says:

      What about those who smoke ganja in prison then post it all over facebook, what was their punishment?  it was even on CNS so this is no fabrication.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Okay so now we have the acknowledgments, where are the names? 

    I wonder if the AG will now advise the government to deciminalise smoking ganja for personal use? We never know how many officers would have to be terminated and then placed in cells themselves.

    The Prison Director may should start listening to these prisoners and diversify the employees, that may help break up these 'rings' and change persons working on various shifts. 

    We need more people with the courage to keep identifying wrongdoers, just collect some evidence too.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I see this guy on a daily basis if he told me it was Wednesday 18th dec today I'd have to check, 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Listen folks…Ganja keeps the inmates calm….reduces the problems in the jail. Let them smoke a little to keep the prison relaxed….it might even cut down on medical bills for the HM Prison as it cures certainly a lot of diseases.  

    • Anonymous says:

      When they cant get anymore ganja in prison I hope they TRIPLE the amount of "prison gaurds" they have there cuz 'a lil mess da goin be' RIOT !

      Cuz I na hear of ganja killin anyone yet in my life, matter of fact it is being legalized all over the world for medical purposes! LET THEM SMOKE for cryin out loud, smh. Matter fact hurry and legalize it here too, soon you will have no choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not hand out free lobotomies? More effective, 1 time solution. The users want to 'mellow out' anyway so it's a win win. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    What does our Governoress have to say about this? What happened to our new prison boss from the UK? Is incompetence a prerequisite for holding public office?

    • bow n arrow says:

      Governess is a nanny. She is the Governor of the Cayman Islands. Check your dictionary.

      • Diogenes says:

        She is the nanny for the Cayman Islands – Mother appointed her to make sure we are not (too) naughty.  

      • Anonymous says:

        he was just trying to be funny coconut head……….

  9. Anonymous says:

    Do not believe the Inmate…they will always try to direct blame to the establishment.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow!  Big Surprise.  Like we didn't know the entire system is corrupt.


    Wake Up Cayman!

    • Diogenes says:

      If the entire system was corrupt he wouldnt be charged at all, let alone found guilty and sentenced.  I know it must be tempting to blame the authorities for everything, but when you have the uncorroborated word of a man doing 13 years for violent offences, simply taking him at his word does seem a trifle naive.  Wake up Cayman indeed. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Whats new in that?  We knew that for a long time that the Prison Officers are involved

    • Gut Check says:

      If you KNOW something (not pithy Marl Road musings), share it with the prison director.   If you're just shakin' the tree for your own amusement, please shake it somewhere else.