Two acquitted in mixed verdict over EE robbery

| 30/10/2018 | 18 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Fred Allon McLaughlin and Al Elford McLaughlin walked away from court on Tuesday, free men after a jury of five women and two men took less than four hours to reach a mixed verdict in a robbery conspiracy case involving cocaine that washed up on to the beach in East End last Christmas Eve. While the jury acquitted the McLaughlins of both conspiracy charges relating to robbery and drug dealing, they found Marvin Gregory Grant also not guilty of drug-related charges but guilty of robbery. As his co-defendants were discharged, Grant was remanded until Friday, when he is expected to be sentenced.

In a case that hung largely on CCTV footage and circumstantial evidence, the crown’s case against the men had been that when the cocaine washed up on the beach in front of the Morritt’s resort in East End, Al McLaughlin had been alerted to the haul by his wife, who worked at the resort. He had then orchestrated a conspiracy with Fred McLaughlin and Grant.

As hotel staff were keeping watch over the cocaine until the police arrived, Grant was said to have turned up at the resort in his own car and then, armed with a machete, approached the staff on the beach, told them the drugs belonged to him and then made off with it.

Although the drugs were never recovered, one package had fallen from the garbage bag that contained the full haul. Prosecutors said that CCTV showed Grant arriving for the robbery and then after the incident getting in his car and driving off. He was later traced via his registration number. Grant denied that it was him and said that he had been fishing and left his car with the keys inside parked at a nearby dock, as he often allowed friends to use it.

The crown had claimed that as Grant was taking the drugs, Fred McLaughlin had arrived in a red truck and was there to assist with the robbery. The case against him, however, was based only on the fact that he was present as the robbery was happening and phone traffic between himself and his brother, Al McLaughlin, and Grant, his brother’s close friend. McLaughlin denied any involvement and said he had gone to the Morritt’s to see who was in the bar but left when he encountered what he thought might be some trouble after he saw the man with a machete.

Meanwhile, Al McLaughlin, who the crown said was the mastermind behind the robbery and drug conspiracy, was charged purely on the basis that he had engaged in telephone communication with Grant and his brother, and because Grant was at McLaughlin’s home when he was traced by police and arrested. Other allegations that the crown had originally made that prosecutors suggested could have tied him to the case was, as a result of legal issues, never admitted into evidence.

The drug haul was said to have been considerable and police had estimated it would have had a street value of millions of dollars, but the cocaine has never been found.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    when will the dpp be held accountable for its incompetence????

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  2. Anonymous says:

    “they found Marvin Gregory Grant also not guilty of drug-related charges but guilty of robbery.”

    Wonder what did he took in the robbery, coconuts?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    they should file a lawsuit! The only evidence here was against the robbery guy. The prosecution is always out on a fishing expedition. Yet they have had the same person as the head of its non performing entity for 15 years. Only in Cayman.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it true all East Enders snort
    Cocaine?? ????????

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    • Anonymous says:

      I just like how it smells.

    • Anonymous says:

      basically….them and the uk + canadians here

      • Anonymous says:

        Umm NO! You should take a drive up these sides and single out how many “obvious” coke heads there are compared to other districts like that of West Bay where you can find one on almost every corner.

        Not all of those engaged in these things like to snort it, but they surely like to sell it. Apparently it pays off better than your salary from an honest living.

  5. Anonymous says:

    awesome again from the dpp and the police farce!
    civil service incompetence is never ending

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    • Mike says:

      It does not look as if there ever was a proper case supported by admissable evidence. My question is how long did it take for the police to respond. A lot went on in the time that the snatch was put together, and millions of dollars of hard drugs were left unprotected on the beach. That to me is the crux of this matter, not the DPP or weak evidence. Poor patrolling or presence in that didtrict has been a sore point for years, and likely what led to this foolishness!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    What a great outcome for all involved!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmm so the estimed caymanian jury found Grant guilty of stealing over 20lbs of cocaine but not guilty of supplying it.
    That is some fuc+-g habit hope you see a counselor at Northward

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  8. Disillusioned says:

    Time to abolish juries.

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  9. anonymous says:

    I admit knowing very little about East Enders but I am pretty sure the McClaughlins are Caymanian, but what about Mr Grant. Also as he will be due a substantial sentence I am surprised he has not agreed to testify as to the identity of his accomplices.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Millions of dollars of coke missing and you are surprised he is not turning Queens evidence – probably prefers a few years in Northward to an early start on eternity in the graveyard.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You know very little about Cayman if you spell McLaughlin with McC
      Dingdong. It’s right there in the article…

      By the way, that cocaine haul is either blown up some noses by now or buried in da bush somewhere for safe keeping..

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      7 27 pm , that why he is going to get off too with very little time , so that he don’t have to rant names . The best Justice system in the world .

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  10. Anonymous says:

    ????‍♂️

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