Appeal denied in Rum Point robbery case

| 08/11/2017 | 19 Comments

(CNS): David McLaughlin-Martinez, who was convicted of robbery in connection with a Rum Point home invasion of an elderly couple last year, was this week refused leave to appeal his conviction and 11-year sentence. The Court of Appeal rejected the defendant’s arguments, put forth by attorney Jonathon Hughes, including that McLaughlin-Martinez had no intention of taking part in the crime in which he acted as a lookout. He argued that the trial judge, Justice Dame Linda Dobbs, should have directed the jury clearly on the principle of joint enterprise, and did not even mention it by name.

In addressing the point about joint enterprise, the appeal court panel noted the relevant section of the Penal Code, which says, “When an offence is committed, each of the following persons is deemed to have taken part in committing the offence”, including “every person who aids or abets another person in committing an offence”.

Following on from that, the panel said it was necessary to “just look at the facts. Was he acting as a lookout or wasn’t he? …What could be clearer than that?”

Defence counsel maintained on behalf of the defendant that to get a drug debt written off he had pointed out an empty house to a man he identified as “Boom”, who then entered an occupied home instead and carried out the violent robbery, in which an elderly man was punched and his wife threatened at knifepoint.

In addition, Hughes told the court that certain features that would have lessened McLaughlin-Martinez’ culpability were overlooked in sentencing – the good character of the defendant, that he was asked to be the lookout and did not enter the property, and that the drug debt was used as leverage.

Hughes said the applicant did not believe the judge at his trial gave enough credit to his cooperation with police that led to another arrest and the recovery of a necklace worth $17,000, though he agreed that the robbery was a “terrible offence”.

In giving its decision, the judges noted the details of the crime, including that the defendant was a plumber who had been in the house and told “Boom” about the valuables inside, which was a breach of trust. He watched him put on a balaclava and gloves and enter the house, occupied by the couple and their helper, with a knife, and saw and heard the events unfold. McLaughlin-Martinez and “Boom” made off with more than $5,000 in cash and about $35,000 worth of valuables, including electronics and jewellery, which had both monetary and sentimental value.

The court rejected the defendant’s contention that he remained outside “out of curiosity”. The justices said there was ample evidence to support the conviction and had no issue with Justice Dobb’s direction to the jury at the trial.

As for the sentence, the court said the starting point was 11 years with a range of nine to 13 years and noted the defendant’s lack of previous convictions and his role in helping to recover the necklace.

But based on the severity of the crime and the value of the items stolen, the judges said they had “no criticism” of the sentence and refused the applicant leave to appeal.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (19)

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  1. Crab Claw says:

    Has anything ever become of the people he testified excepted and sold his stoles goods?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Give no public funding for criminal appeals. Just permit no-win no-fee arrangements for defence attorneys. That would reduce the public money wasted on these appeals, 80% of which seemed to have no merit whatsoever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good! Sent a message that if you do the crime you serve the time. These silly appeals are ridiculous.

    Did he ever give up the other ones involved?

    • West bay Premier says:

      Now this is something that every Politicians ,and Police officer , and Judge , and the Premiere should look at and see . This elderly couple owned their house for so long , and nothing had given no reason to SELL AND LEAVE THE ISLAND UNTIL THEY WERE ROBBED AND BEATEN . That would do it for me too and I am sure that a lot of others would follow .

      • Anonymous says:

        Keep him locked in prison and give me the only key to his cell so i can melt it down and throw in the deepest part of the ocean.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy prison a hole.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The couple were elderly and the wife was in a wheelchair due to a stroke. Very sad

  6. Anonymous says:

    The elderly couple that he robbed were long time home owners in Rum Point. Unfortunately they have sold their home and left the island with no plans to return.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that is sad….

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you blame them? Very sad to see this incident drive people that had undoubtedly contributed a lot of financial investment into Cayman away and give up on the place . This is the damage these thugs can inflict on the community , my only remorse is the light sentence, but must accept the judges ruling. What happened to the other thug ‘Boom’? Obviously , Martinez knows who this is.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Everytime I cropdust the office I blame it on a guy named “Boom.”

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope his cell rusts shut and he never gets out!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Should double his sentence for being an a**hole and wasting everybody’s time on an attempted appeal.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more laughable appeal…


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