Teenager facing lengthy term for failed armed robbery

| 23/07/2019
Cayman News Service
Crime scene at the Captain’s Bakery

(CNS): A teenager who admitted attempting to rob the Captain’s Bakery at gunpoint last July is facing at least seven years in jail, despite being just 17 years old when he committed the crime. The court heard Tuesday how the young man, who is now 18, had pistol whipped a member of staff at the fast-food restaurant on the West Bay Road as he demanded money, but fled the location empty handed. He then tried to avoid police officers who were in pursuit by getting into a nearby swimming pool, but he was caught and arrested.

The police recovered his clothes, which he was seen wearing on the CCTV footage from the restaurant, and a distinctive backpack, which contained the gun. He was charged a few days after his arrest and admitted the offences. He formally pleaded guilty earlier this year.

A few days before the robbery the teenager stabbed another man in the leg outside the Cayman Airways office on Owen Roberts Drive. The victim sustained a serious wound in his upper thigh during an altercation, which seemed related to previous allegations between them of rock throwing. The teenager was arrested and charged with unlawful wounding following his arrest over the attempted robbery.

However, there have been delays in the case as the courts waited for the results of psychiatric and social inquiry reports for the young man, who has been involved with the criminal justice system since he was 12 years old.

Defence attorney Lee Halliday-Davis told the court that the teenager was suffering from trauma related to an abusive and chaotic upbringing and his encounters with the law, which had seen him in foster care, youth custody and jail on and off for most of his teenage life. It had also left him without an education as the departments have failed to provide the necessary arrangements. She also said that his traumas had been identified when he was just twelve but nothing had been done to assist him.

Despite the mandatory sentence, the attorney had urged the court to consider sending him overseas to a therapeutic treatment centre, as the kind of help he needs as recommended by medical professionals is not available in Cayman.

Halliday-Davis made it clear that the system had failed the young man, who remains traumatised by his childhood experiences. She pointed out that unless he is treated for his mental health problems, the time in prison will do nothing at all to address his offending.

Following submissions from the crown about the details and levels of severity of the two crimes as well as mitigation from his attorney, the judge adjourned the case so that he could consider the submissions. He said he would deliver his decision later this week.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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