Serial burglar jailed for 2½ years for bar break-in

| 11/07/2019 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman courthouse, George Town

(CNS): James Blair Ebanks was sent to jail Thursday for two and a half years for two break-ins at the Cobalt Coast resort bar in West Bay, where he stole sodas, juices, packets of sugar, jugs, cocktail shakers, plastic bowls and even ice. Ebanks was described by the judge as a “serial burglar” who has 21 previous break-ins to his name. But Ebanks has a rap sheet of more than 100 convictions, all fuelled by a lifelong drug addiction.

The 55-year-old West Bay man’s history with the criminal justice system began when he was just a teenager and has continued all of his life, defence attorney Crister Brady told the court. He said it was because drugs have consumed his entire life.

Brady said it was not that his client didn’t want to stop using, but the insatiable desire for drugs and the power of the addiction is now much greater than his motivation to stop, which is fuelling his continued offending.

In this double burglary of the same bar over a four-day period in March last year Ebanks took some CI$185 worth of random things that he could sell or swap for drugs in an opportunistic ‘grab and go’ break-in. But at the time he was already serving a suspended sentence for burglary.

Brady and the judge agreed that the time in jail was unlikely to assist with Ebanks’ problem. Brady said his addiction went beyond what the drug court was able to provide and he needed substantial assistance, which he will not get in the local prison.

But as he reviewed his previous convictions, Justice Roger Chapple said that it at least afforded some protection for society from his habitual offending.

“It is not clear that a custodial sentence is going to assist him,” Brady stated, and Justice Chapple responded, “It obviously won’t.” However, the judge said that any help with addiction can only be of value if Ebanks himself is motivated to stop using. He said the offending was clearly prompted by the addiction.

“But you know and I know, until you kick the habit you will carry on committing offences,” the judge told Ebanks as he explained the sentence he was passing.

Pointing to his dreadful record and the lack of any indication he was trying to address his addiction, the judge gave Ebanks three years for the two minor burglaries. He reduced that to two years as Ebanks had come clean from the start and pleaded guilty, entitling him to a one-third discount. But the judge added another six months because Ebanks was on a suspended sentence at the time he committed what became his 106th offence.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Serial burglar eh? Wondered where my Frosties went…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Poor guy, you know his parents obviously were crap to him as a child and no one cared enough to help him. People that suck need to be banned from procreating.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love that parking job on the sidewalk.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Prison may not help him, but it sure will help us. This was apparently long overdue. Hope he gets himself turned around, but not going to hold my breath. Glad to see a judge at least tacitly recognize that jail is not just punishment or a place to be “helped”, but also serves to remove repeat offenders from society at least for a while.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    From his daus on primary school he was destined for this. May God bless him and protect him. Good on hos for coming clean at the earliest opportunity.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    wow…power of addition…but tobacco use kills more people than hard drugs.. .need not use any of them……i got a family member that is limited to travelling to miami as his ciggarette addition wont allow him more than an hour before smoking…sad…nicotene produces dopamine in brain.. just as other harder drugs…..hence the addition….

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