Public also nabbed NYD robbers

| 11/12/2014

(CNS): Three members of the public were instrumental in catching the robbers in the now infamous New Year’s Day heist at Diamonds International and were injured for their trouble. Although it was widely publicised that the police commissioner had chased down the fleeing jewel thieves in his Chevy Trailblazer, it wasn’t until the sentencing hearing for the convicted men on Wednesday that the part played by others, who ran after the robbers and literally wrestled with them to prevent their escape, was revealed. The facts of the case against Christopher Myles,James McLean, Jonathan Ramoon and a fourth unknown man were laid out by the  director of public prosecutions (DPP) before Justice Charles Quin, who is now considering their fate.

DPP Cheryl Richards QC the told the court that Myles, McLean and Ramoon were part of a joint enterprise with one other man, who has not been identified or caught.

The daylight robbery of the jewellery store, located in the heart of the downtown tourist district, happened just after the store opened and as passengers from the many cruise ships at port that day were moving around the area. The store was also full of staff as a result of the busy holiday, two of whom were pregnant at the time. The victim impact statements revealed that everyone was terrified during the ordeal, which lasted for one minute and 26 seconds.

Three masked men entered the store in quick succession, including Ramoon and McLean, and stole more than US$800,000 worth of jewellery.

Ramoon, carrying the gun, was the first robber in the store. He pointed the weapon at a security guard’s chest and told him to get on the ground and then dragged him further into the store. Immediately behind him came the unidentified man, who was carrying a large yellow bag which was later used for the jewels. McLean came in behind him with a hammer and proceeded to smash all of the display cabinets. The unnamed robber then grabbed the jewels before all three fled to the getaway vehicle being driven by Myles.

However, the daring daylight heist was spotted by several people and two men in the vicinity at the time as well as a security guard all went after the robbers. Police Commissioner David Baines, by coincidence it is said by the authorities, was also in the area at the time. He was off duty and in his own car waiting to meet a friend from a cruise ship. He was alerted to the robbery by the screams and, seeing the fleeing suspects and people chasing them, he went after the getaway car and crashed into the vehicle.

But as the four robbers bailed out their car and tried to flee on foot, the members of the public and the security guards giving chase continued their pursuit of the men. Despite being injured as they were punched and kicked by the robbers, they held on and prevented their escape.

The commissioner, who remained in his car, then drove at the robbers, mowing down Ramoon, who received multiple serious injuries as a result. Baines was later cleared of using excessive force following an internal investigation headed by an as yet unnamed member of the RCIPS.

Although the fleeing robbers were chased by the commissioner in his car, one still got away and took with him three diamond rings, which have never been recovered, worth around $3,000.

The yellow bag containing the rest of the jewels, however, was dropped and the luxury items returned to Diamonds International. The hammer was also recovered, along with a firearm, which was found to be loaded and later tested by an expert, who confirmed it was a lethal-barrelled weapon.

The three men, who were all arrested, admitted their part in the crime from the beginning, though Ramoon was taken directly to hospital, where he was treated for a broken leg, a broken hip, a broken arm and serious internal injuries, before he could be interviewed.

However, it has taken almost twelve months for the case to come before a judge for sentencing as a result of problems with defence attorneys, the extensive injuries of Ramoon and lengthy discussions  between the crown and the defence attorneys about Myles, who had insisted he knew nothing about the gun. That issue was eventually settled when McLean confirmed in writing that Myles did not know that Ramoon had a firearm and he too only knew about the weapon when it was produced as the robbery began and had no idea it was loaded.

The crown then accepted Myles’ guilty plea to the robbery and dropped their pursuit of the firearms charge against him.However, both Ramoon and McLean pleaded guilty to robbery as well as to possession of an unlicensed firearm. They are now both facing a minimum sentence of seven years.

Although all three men have some criminal history, only Ramoon has a previous firearms offence. McLean, who is only 23, had the cleanest record with just ganja offences. His defence attorney, Nick Hoffman, argued hard that his young client was turning his life around in prison and had shown significant remorse as he wrestled with a serious cocaine addiction which had led himto become involved in the robbery.

Of the three guilty men, Hoffman argued, his client was young, vulnerable and easily led. Even the best case scenario for him was seven years in prison, a third of his life, Hoffman said, as he urged the judge not to exceed that minimum sentence.

All three men wrote letters to the court apologising to the public for what they did and acknowledging their culpability in the crime. The social enquiry reports said the men had shown remorse and deeply regretted their involvement. The court heard they were attempting to make the most of their time behind bars and during their year on remand had already been involved in rehabilitation programmes, including those for drug and alcohol dependency in an effort to turn their lives around.

Although the crown had described the daylight hold-up as a professional commercial robbery, the defence attorneys all argued differently, describing the crime as an unsophisticated plan hatched during a drink and drug fuelled binge session, described by one lawyer as a “bender” on the night before the hold up. The lawyers said their clients were not hardened criminals but men who had made the worst and most stupid mistakes of their lives, for which they knew they would all have to pay the price.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You're only sorry if you get caught

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course they show remorse "after the fact" and after they get caught….they can keep their remorse and shove it up their …….pulling a gun on someone,making everyone down by holidng a gun on them…maximum sentence I hope…..clean record other then ganga..well he should have thought about it before he did what he did…and what happened to the fourth one that got away???? No one talked?? Can't believe that one!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Remorseful my A@@ !!! If they were then they would give up the name of the 4th Robber instead of allowing him to continue his criminal activity in our country. I say give them the maximum sentence unless they give the name of the 4th Robber !!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    They are remorseful of two things only – getting beat down by joe public & the CoP, and then getting caught. If they are all of a sudden so concerned about the public – then give up your accomplice's name so that no other good citizen suffers at his hands. Otherwise: maximum sentences for all 3 +PLUS his time would be just fine by me. Oh, and here is wishing the three of you a very Happy New Year in the lovely Northward prison!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am all for the maximun sentance in this instance. It was a planned armed robbery. If the judge is thinking about how long to give, the ONLY way it can be less, is if they give up the 4th person. 

  4. UHUHUH says:

    Talking about coincidence! Isn't it strange that the one guy who gets away and is never heard of again is the one with the loot. Isn't it strange that the three Caymanians are caught and brought to trial but Mr Ex is hardly ever mentioned. No one seems to know who he is, not even the three who were caught.

    I would venture to say that if none of those three knew who he was then this whole thing appears to be a  set up by some professional who talked these three dummies into doing the job, while informing them that someone unknown to them would be joining them at the site for the heist, making sure they were told what he would be wearing etc. This is just speculation! But then again it seems "how should I say" very STRANGE. But no surprise! After all this is Cayman. 

    WOW! The one person that should have been caught vanishes into thin air creating another unsolved mystery for the RCIP! Neither do I buy the story that out of a stash worth "$800,000,00" the one who got away took  only three rings worth $3,000.00. I don't think you could find one ring in that store worth less than three thousand, but this guy is so unlucky he sticks his hand in the bag pulls out "not one" but three pieces worth only three grand.


    • Anonymous says:

      lol – of course there is some kind of ex-pat conspiracy going on here. 3 Caymanians caught robbing a store – only logical explanation is that a shadowy ex-pat has set them up – prob as part of the global conspiracy against Absurdistan (aka tiny town from footloose aka Cayman)

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop smoking the Pot,  it's making you paranoid

    • Anonymous says:

      You are making no sense at all. Are you supporting these criminals becuse"this is Cayman?"

      • Anonymous says:

        To 12:20, I'm surethat there are many do can't see, or don't want to see what I'm saying!  For your edification, what I'm saying is this: The big C is rampant in Cayman and we like ostricheshave buried our heads in the sand. Let me give a few examples that brings me to the conclusion that many of the white collar crimes that are committed few persons seems to ever be punished. If people would think they can easily come up with at least four cases in recent years that have still not been resolved. Why? 

        When was the last time you heard of any of the BIG "drug dealers" on this Island being arrested and taken to court? Why? I don't know! But everyone picked up with a stick of ganga or a crack rock is arrested and taken to court. These are the ones who become so desperate for a fix that they are at the behest of those who would use them to commit bank robberies and other criminal acts.

        Then there are those who work in banks and other institutions that see opportunity to use some underling to rip of the company they work for, for hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the supposed perpetrator " who is the underling" leaves the Island before the missing funds a noticed, even though the thefts  have occurred over a period of years before "anyone" in accounting finds the shortfall. I could on and on with other cases like these, which for the most part remain unresolved. Why? 

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think if yu ceck back CNS, the public involvement was reported at the time. I recall axi drivers being commended for their actions. It was never suggested the Commish did it all on his own. 

  6. Legal Smeagol says:

    For an armed robbery using a loaded firearm they should ALL get a minimum of 25 years.

    Lock the brutes up for a long long time. The law abiding community deserves nothing less.

    It is disgusting that our so called community leaders (politicians, senior civil servants and preachers etc) have nothing to say about the crime wave that is destroying this country.


    • Cat says:

      The people,including preachers who write those 'good person', statements for presentation to the courts on the criminals behalf should be given an sentence as well.  If they were good they wouldn't find themselves I front of a Judge/Magistrate.  Those character statements should not be allowed.

      If you do the crime, serve the time.

  7. suomynona says:

    Remorse and regret is great but they won't give up the name of the other thug involved? Turn your life around a litle more if you expect lenient sentences, by giving the police a name.

  8. Anonymous says:

    CNS, how dare you burst our bubble.

    For almost 1 year we have believed that our CoP was some kind of super hero. NOT.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Right, so now they're trykng to get Baines to look good ah, just like Mac was made to look good. Why doesn't  Cayman Islands start manufacturing super hero doll figures. That'll be a way for government to make some honest money! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm… Brutal Baines and Mischeivous McKeeva action figures? Slot machines and trail blazers sold separately…

    • Anonymous says:

      The media made the superhero, the RCIPS press releases always referenced the taxi drivers and others that helped.  At the end of the day, he was the first police officer on the scene, and he did not hold back. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    If anyone buys their lawyers argument, they only have to ask those who grew up with them and knew them to find out what they were really like.  Only sorry once they have been caught.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, 20:17, those who had the misfortune to try to teach them in school. Thugs from the get-go.