(CNS): A West Bay man is facing a dozen years in jail after a receiving five years on Friday for stealing a safe in a brazen break-in at Treasure Island resort four and a half years ago. Bandon Liberal (30) is already serving a seven-year jail term for his part in the armed robbery of a courier van, but the judge ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, saying she felt twelve years was an appropriate global sentence for both crimes.
Liberal had denied any part in the burglary, but the crown’s case was that he was one of at least two robbers who broke into the Seven Mile Beach resort and made off with a safe, which had been bolted to the floor, containing over $100,000, which has never been recovered. According to evidence given at his trial, Liberal opened the safe on the beach with a blow torch and spent the cash on a new car, among other things.
When he stood trial for the burglary he was already serving time for robbery. Liberal had pleaded guilty to a daylight courier heist in October 2012 in the car park of the British-Caymanian insurance offices on Eastern Avenue and had been in prison since 2014. While the Treasure Islands burglary happened six months earlier, Liberal was charged with the offence after he was arrested and charged with the courier robbery.
As she deliberated over the sentence Liberal should receive for the safe burglary, Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop pointed out the seriousness of the break-in that not only had an impact on the owners of the resort but also the people living and staying there and the overall tourism sector in the Cayman Islands.
The judge said that she felt six years would have been appropriate but considering that he was already serving, she reduced the sentence to five years.
Defence attorney Krister Brady urged the judge to run the sentence concurrently, claiming it was part of a period of specific offending. But the judge refused because the punishment would be “meaningless” if she allowed the term to be served alongside the time he is serving for the armed robbery.
She pointed out that Liberal was already benefiting from concurrent sentences in that case: seven years for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and six years for the robbery, which was part of the same crime.
The judge said she could not find any mitigating factors in a case littered with aggravating factors, including the sophisticated planning involved, Liberal’s complete failure to cooperate, his lack of remorse as he continues to deny being the robber despite being found guilty, his previous convictions and serious criminal conduct, and his very high risk of re-offending.