Boozy burglary lands WB man 4 years jail time

| 30/08/2018 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): An opportunist burglary in the early morning hours at a beachfront home last August has cost Tonie Elford Bush (49) four years in jail, even though he only took a bottle of beer and drank from a bottle of wine. Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop found that the West Bay man, who has a rap sheet of more than 60 offences, at least 25 of which are for burglary or dishonesty, poses a serious risk to society. The court heard that the victim, a woman who was home alone, woke up in the early morning hours and found that her cats were missing.

As she looked for them around her condo, she spotted a wine bottle on the patio table that had been in her fridge, alerting her to the fact that someone had been in her home.

She checked her CCTV and she saw the unmasked burglar who had been in the apartment while she was sleeping. The woman reported the burglary to the police, who not only identified Bush from the footage but also found his prints on the woman’s fridge. Bush was arrested and charged soon afterwards, and during his first appearance in court admitted the offence.

Given his exceptionally long rap sheet, however, combined with the fact that Bush’s opportunistic crime was one of a long list of similar offending, fuelled by his drug and alcohol addiction, the judge handed down a six-year term, cutting it to four as a result of his admissions. The judge was not swayed by efforts by Bush’s attorney to persuade her to impose a suspended sentence on the basis that HMP Northward was awash with drugs and hardly the place to help him deal with his addiction.

Justice McDonald-Bishop said Bush had been give multiple chances to turn his life around with previous suspended sentences and opportunities to get clean through the drug court, but he had failed to respond. While she accepted it was an opportunistic crime, she said it was committed by someone that was “always looking for an opportunity” who needed “to learn that a life of crime doesn’t pay” and that if he needed help with his drug problem, he had to take that help when it was offered.

Noting that she believed that Bush was playing the court, she said she was not entirely convinced that he was really sorry, despite his efforts to sound contrite in a letter. She said she did not know why there was so much ganja in the prison but that was a problem for the state to deal with; hers was to protect the public from offenders like Bush.

As Justice McDonald-Bishop handed down the prison term, she was greeted with an outburst from Bush in the dock, who said that when he arrived in court and saw that the prosecutor and the judge “were both Jamaican, I knew I didn’t stand a chance”, as he attempted to push past the guards in the dock towards the cells.

Telling him that his conduct was atrocious, the judge said, “I may be Jamaican but I am not a fool,” as she directed the prison officers to allow Bush to go down.

The judge did not hold Bush in contempt, despite his outburst, and agreed to run the sentence for the burglary concurrent with his ongoing sentence for possession and consumption of drugs.


Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Begging for jail

  2. Anonymous says:

    New level new devil its the system that turned Tonie to a devil..

  3. Anonymous says:

    What were the other 60 judges thinking as he passed through their courtrooms and back out into society? His courtroom outburst confirms he only has contempt for the justice system— and why should he not when he’s been through the revolving door 60 times without a scratch. Thank you judge for taking a serious approach to this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This man is still walking free? 60!!.. 6… 0… SIXTY!!! offenses. Enough is enough, some people obviously do not belong in/cannot handle society. He needs to go. And those who will disagree. He was given 60 chances to be better. What’s his excuse?

  5. SSM345 says:

    This is the same Toni that no so long ago got off charges for possession of an unlicensed shotgun that was found in the sofa he slept on and had his DNA on the cartridges in the chamber correct?

  6. Anonymous says:

    A huge problem since primary school days.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tonie didn’t deserve that sentence.

  8. Say it like it is says:

    We need more Jamaican judges.


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