Inmate gets 6 months more time for jailhouse assault

| 09/08/2016 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

HMP Northward

(CNS): A West Bay man serving time at HMP Northward for armed robbery who assaulted another inmate had another six months added to his existing ten-year term Tuesday. When Ryan Ebanks punched Jeffrey Barnes, who is serving a life term for serial rape, in a dispute over jailhouse drugs, the fight was caught on CCTV. Although the attack was initially believed to be much more serious, the prosecution was unable to sustain a charge of grievous bodily harm due to lack of evidence and Barnes’ reluctance to testify. Ebanks was eventually charged with actual bodily harm and pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial.

With the injuries sustained by Barnes said to be relatively minor coupled with Ebanks’ decision to concede guilt, albeit at the last minute, visiting judge, Justice Michael Mettyear, handed down a sentence at the lower end of the scale but not before warning Ebanks that things could have been far more serious and that he needed to watch his future conduct as there was no room for violence in the prison.

The CCTV footage showed Ebanks punching Barnes and wrestling him to the floor outside the cells, after which he stepped over his fellow inmate and left him lying on the floor. Following the incident, the prison stated that Ebanks was uncooperative but the court heard that Barnes was also reluctant to pursue the case against Ebanks and claimed that the dispute had been resolved.

Noting Ebanks’ long and violent rap sheet, Justice Mettyear also dismissed the his claims that he was learning something from his time in jail and said his prison record suggested that this was “wholly untrue”. He also noted his concern that Ebanks had admitted using drugs on the day of the assault in the prison and that drugs were the cause of the altercation between Ebanks and Barnes.

In response to claims that Ebanks was provoked into the violence, the judge said that prison could be an intimidating and difficult place where provocation may be a common factor but aggression and violence were not the answer.

Ebanks is currently serving a ten-year sentence for an armed robbery at a West Bay grocery store, which happened in 2011. As a result of his long list of violent offences and a previous robbery conviction, he was originally given a 15-year term but that was overturned by the Court of Appeal and reduced to ten years. Following the sentencing hearing Tuesday, his total sentence is now ten years and six months.

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Category: Crime, Prison

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ryan Ebanks never addmitted to using drugs on the day of the altercation in the prison that’s complete bull**** . Why lie ? For a story smh

  2. Diogenes says:

    Deportation order!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The state of a country’s prisons reflects the state of a society – says it all really

  4. Anonymous says:

    Come on guys you do know HMP is not the only prison in the world drugs in it… dont be dumb

  5. Anonymous says:

    How does the Judiciary overlook the existence of narcotics in what is supposed to be a secure crown facility? What a joke!

    • SSM345 says:

      They haven’t overlooked it, they contracted a bunch of drones to stem the flow by buzzing around the prison grounds. Maybe the prisoners have now taken a page out of Chapo’s handbook and have a tunnel system too get them in?

  6. Anonymous says:

    On drugs in Northward prison. Says everything.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The main thing I have taken from this story is the open use of drugs in the prison and the admission of the prisoners of this. The drug issue needs to be addressed. Once addressed this should reduce the violence.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Scum on scum. Nothing to see here, move along.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Drugs still at HMP Northward??? No Way. I thought the “experts” at Home Affairs had brought in the best from the Mother Country to clean up the mess made by our local guys.

    • Freddy says:

      Wonder what happened to the DRONE that flys around the prison compound and are the officers searched by fellow officers when they are reporting for their shifts, How else is the drugs so prevalent in the prison? It will never be no better once corruption continues.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A Little Jail House Rock?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Do serial rapists even feel pain?

  12. Anonymous says:

    OK so CNS reports (in a way that can only be interpreted as a statement of fact) that this was over jailhouse drugs. So… is either man also getting time added for having (or being involved in) drugs in prison.

    Guess not then,.. after all why should that be seen as an issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Other man already has a sentence of life.

      • Anonymous says:

        … and under the new rules is now likely to be eligible for a specific term

        • SSM345 says:

          Not Jeffrey, he will most likely be in there for a very long time, he’s a serial rapist and does so every time he is let out. The only way he will get out soon is if he escapes again……

      • Anonymous says:

        Shackles in solitary confinement then.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be asking that question of the DPP, not CNS…

      • Anonymous says:

        One of them was unwilling to aid prosecution in the trial for actual bodily harm. Both of them were reluctant to offer any evidence to either the prosecution or the defense. Without solid evidence, the prosecution had nothing to go on for issuing drug charges. However, the DPP should have suggested that an investigation probe take place in the prison for the use, possession and sale of drugs.

        • Anonymous says:

          I totally get what you say and I know the reality is that everybody is pretty certain they know what this was about.

          However if, as you say, there is no / ‘insufficient ‘evidence to prove it then it is custom (and appropriately cautious to protect oneself) to use some form of ‘allegedly’ in reporting such things. Hence why I sais that CNS’ reporting could only be interpreted as a statement of fact, which is walking a thin line if there is insufficient evidence.

          CNS: Just a reminder, this is an article about a court case, and therefore is reporting what was said in court.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a forum… it is an open question!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      How can u add time to a life sentence daaaaaa!!!! Its like some of those ridiculous sentences u see handed down in the US(triple Life) WTF!!! isn’t one enough?

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