North Side robber faces four years in jail

| 31/01/2014

(CNS): One of four men accused of robbing Chisholm’s supermarket in October last year has been handed a four year prison term by Justice Charles Quin following a guilty plea. Courtney Bryan (21) admitted possessing an imitation handgun and being one of the masked men that entered the store and robbed the 83-year-old owner and her granddaughter of jewellery, a phone, cigarettes and around $300 in cash. The judge commended both the quick action of the victims, who took down the getaway car number, their willingness to come forward and the police, who acted quickly and apprehended the robbers after a coordinated chase with the RCIPS helicopter and a car on the ground.

Bryan was given six years for his part in the daylight heist as the judge found he was a main player in the robbery, being one of the two men that went into the store after two accomplices had gone in ahead to “case the joint”, Justice Quin said in his ruling. But because of his early guilty plea the judge gave the defendant the full discount and reduced the term to four years. He was also given a further three years for the possession of the imitation weapon, which the judge ordered to run concurrently.

Although Bryan had shown considerable remorse and had admitted his culpability, which he said was as a result of serious drug problems and debt to dealers of some $2,600, which he still owes, the judge said he found few mitigating circumstances. The victims in this case were subjected to a terrifying attack as Bryan had pulled the jewellery from the neck of the owner’s daughter during the hold-up with such force the chain had broken.

While the younger of the victims had been terribly shaken by the ordeal, the owner of the store, Rhoda Ebanks, put the situation into startling perspective.

“I am 83 years of age and I still work for a living. These idiots come and take your few dollars instead of trying to work. I get up from 6am to get to work for 7am and I am there until 7pm and they are idling their time away,” she told social workers who recorded the victim impact statements.

Bryan has no previous convictions for dishonesty but, like many other young people who fall into crime, he was described as having a very difficult up-bringing. The judge said that he had an unstable past with no relationship with either of his Caymanian and American parents. Attempts to go live with his father in the US at a very early age failed and he was brought up by his paternal grandmother.

When he was older, he returned to Cayman to try and establish a relationship with his mother here but that did not happen.

Writing to the courts saying he wished he could turn back the hands of time and apologising for the pain he caused his victims, he acknowledged that there was nothing he could do but accept judgment. Admitting an association with the wrong people and his dependency on cocaine and ganja, he said that remained a problem because, despite his incarceration, he was still using drugs at HMP Northward.

Justice Quin accepted that the defendant  had a troubled upbringing, which, he said, "regrettably is an increasingly common occurrence,” but said the violence and use of force to remove the victim’s jewellery, the use of masks, the planning and imitation weapon, which to the victims appeared very real, were all aggravating circumstances. While it was not known if there was a mastermind in this crime, the judge said that Bryan played a major rather than a minor role in the crime, as he handed down the jail term.

The judge paid tribute to the victims for their courage and quick action, noting that it was only because they had recorded the plate number of the car that the robbers escaped in that police were able to pick up the fleeing vehicle and remain on its tail until the robbers were apprehended, which Justice Quin also commended. Despite the concern of the victims that the robbers know they had reported them, the judge said it was only this type of stand against anti-social and criminal behaviour by the public that can assist the police in addressing the crime in our society.

One other defendant so far in this case has also submitted one guilty plea but his attorney remains in discussions with the crown on behalf of his client, who is still only 16 years old. Meanwhile, two other men have denied being involved in the crime and have pleaded not guilty.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can.t be bother to read the whole article. Only 4 years for this, come on he is going to serve 1 1/2 yrs, get out and do it all over again, plus he owes drug dealers $2800, well when giving him the 4 yrs sentence tell this CRIMINAL that he has to tell you who he owes the money too…

    Can't beleive this, this is why we will continue to have criminals on our streets low jail time..

  2. Kadafe says:

    This sentence seems rather soft. Imagine the fear that they caused to the victims…

  3. Anonymous says:

    4 years ? out in 2   !

    i wonder if we ever gonna find out who the drug dealers are who he owed to money to.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Teach the R@@$ a lesson, throw away the key.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He needs to have more sessions with Michael Myles from the Education Ministry.  He is a true role model for these young men whonaturally cares about these individuals.  He is doing a terrific job with the troubled youths and his success rate is incomparable. If we had 19 more Michael Myles we would have a better Cayman with these young men. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Still on drugs in prison.

    Did anybody else catch that?

  7. Anonymous says:

    With pathetic sentences like this there is no deterrent.

  8. Foreign Devil says:

    Once these people are convicted the parents  should be named and shamed, maybe the other parents doing bad jobs will tighten up thier game.

  9. TCM29 says:

    Willingness to come forward is the key- wish they all did that

  10. Anonymous says:

    "…he was described as having a very difficult up-bringing…"


    If you want to address crime, you must first address the issue of unwanted babies.


    The unwanted boys are at high risk of drifting into criminal behaviour.


    The unwanted girls are at high risk of becoming pregnant at a young age and bringing another unwanted baby into the world. Thus the downward cycle perpetuates.


    Education and easy access to birth control are two parts to the solution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Deportation is also an option that could be used in some instances….

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you 11:09, but the "christians" on this island would rather ignore such things and preach that birth control pills is the devil encouraging sex. Its blows the minds of those who think rational, but hey…its just the way it is.

      • TCM29 says:

        Christians- yeah, right. They all are in the states too, until they get into the usual trouble. That's why I support Planned Parenthood to forcibly break the generational cycle of crime and dependency. Every little bit helps.

    • Anonymous says:

      Making abortion available would help too.  The rich have a choice, because they can fly to the States.  The poor don't.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Keep them in there forever! These islands don’t need them on our streets! Frustrated Caymanian

  12. Anonymous says:

    and once again society is suffering the consequences of  two people who didn't believe in birth control or in being a proper parent!