Security guard jailed for six years

| 16/04/2015 | 5 Comments

(CNS): A security guard who stabbed a customer at a George Town bar with a flick knife during an altercation last year has received a six-year sentence following his conviction for wounding with intent last month. Justice Charles Quin said Kenroy Rowe was too quick to use the weapon and made a serious error of judgment when he stabbed Jose Sanchez with the knife that he had confiscated from another customer.

Cayman News Service

Kenroy Rowe

Rowe, a Jamaican national, had denied the charges, claiming self-defence, which had been rejected by the jury. Despite some provocation from the man who was at the Energy Bar on Shedden Road with Sanchez on the night he was stabbed, the judge said the defendant had gone way too far. Describing Rowe as losing his temper and going over the top, he said it was a case of excessive self-defence in response to a punch thrown by Sanchez in the melee caused mostly by his friend and which caused Rowe no injury.

He noted the prosecuting attorney’s point during the case that Rowe was there to keep customers safe and not to attack them. Sanchez had suffered life threatening injuries as he was stabbed in the chest just below his heart, and were it not for the fast action of the police officer who came to the scene and rushed Sanchez to the hospital, he could have died.

In his sentencing decision the judge noted a number of aggravating factors: that the knife had been taken from a customer and despite the guard using it, he returned it to the owner after the incident and also left the scene before the police arrived. However, with no previous convictions and a low risk of reoffending the judge stuck with the sentencing guidelines’ starting point for such a crime and jailed him for six years with time served being taken into consideration. Justice Quin also made the necessary deportation recommendation for when Rowe completes his sentence.

As he handed down the jail term, the judge pointed out a number of areas of concern thrown up by the case. He said that this incident would never have happened if the bar had implemented a policy for securing confiscated weapons. Licensed premises must ensure the safekeeping of the weapons they confiscate, he added. Justice Quin also noted that Rowe had not been trained to deal with such an altercation safely and he said it was important that security guards receive the necessary training to prevent this type of thing from happening again.

Not for the first time in his court, he said, it was regrettable that no one in the bar, not even the man who had provoked the fight, had given evidence and the police struggled to get anyone to help. Justice Quin warned that it is very hard for the RCIPS to do their job without the support of the community.

The last issue thrown up by the case was regarding the victim’s medical bills. With Rowe in jail and no prospect of compensation being paid, Sanchez is facing a hefty unpaid hospital tab because his insurance firm has refused to pay on the basis that there is some clause which the insurance firm is relying upon not to pay based on injuries sustained in a fight. However, Justice Quin pointed out that this was not Sanchez’ fault as he had done all he could to calm the situation down and tried to get his friend to walk away.

Based on the facts of the case and the CCTV footage, the judge said, “It is clear the complainant was trying to leave the scene and was trying to avoid a fight but was regrettably injured.” He added that if the insurance firm was in possession of the full facts it should reconsider its refusal to pay and cover Sanchez’ medical cost.

Sanchez was a waiter at George Town Yacht Club and CNS has reached out to management personnel there, who are assisting with the details of their health insurance provider to enable us to ask the insurance firm about their refusal to cover the injured man’s bill.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (5)

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  1. E. Stenna says:

    CNS, did the judgement include deportation after sentence is served? It should!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So… He gets 6 years and the teacher molesting multiple students at John Gray got 3? Not condoning this guys actions any more but something seems off here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good of example of what it is like when we hire the fox to watch the hen house.

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