Serial escapee lifer released from jail

| 23/08/2019 | 52 Comments
Cayman News Service
Steve Manderson

(CNS) UPDATED: Steve Manderson (50), who was serving a life sentence for his part in the murder of a prison guard during an incident at HMP Northward in 1993, has been released after 25 years behind bars. Manderson, who was known as a serial escapee, last jumped the prison gates in 2013. However, it emerged in the Court of Appeal on Friday that he was freed on licence last October after making a successful appeal to the governor’s office to access the parole process.

Manderson made an application for release on 16 December 2015 just two months before the Conditional Release Law came into effect in February of the following year. This meant Manderson was never given a tariff for his life term by a court. Instead his application for release was considered and then supervised by the new Conditional Release Board created after the law was changed.

The news of Manderson’s release was revealed when Andrew Radcliffe QC, on behalf of the crown, was responding to arguments being made on behalf of several other lifers by defence attorney Amelia Foshuhene.

There are more than a dozen prisoners currently serving mandatory life sentences for murder at HMP Northward. But since 2014, when the parliament passed the Conditional Release Law, these inmates were all given tariffs for those life sentences, setting a date at which they could be considered for release. But this, some inmates have argued, has created a significant injustice.

A number of older serving lifers had already applied to the governor’s office, on the basis of his discretionary power, for release on parole before the Conditional Release Law was passed and so have avoided being given a tariff. The tariff, according to the law, “shall be 30 years” in the case of murder, in the absence of any exceptional circumstance, which could increase or reduce the term.

But it emerged today in the court that seven prisoners have been released since 2013 under the governor’s discretionary power, with at least another two still waiting on decisions. All seven who have been released served less than 30 years.

The first lifer to be released by a governor was Blanford Dixon, who had served 27 years. He was one of three men convicted of killing his step-father, Charles Evans Rankine, in 1986. His brother, Lensel Vernie Dixon, was also released some time later, along with Owen Barrington Bruce, the third man in the killing, who was released a year later after 28 years and who was immediately deported to his native Jamaica.

George Roper, who was convicted of killing the same prison guard as Steve Manderson, was also released in 2013 after serving around 22 years.

McAndy Thomas, who was convicted in 1991 of killing 77-year-old Ratmir Pavlovic during a jewellery store robbery, was released in 2015 after 24 years. William Powery, who committed the double homicide of Charles and Gaynell Ebanks, had served the longest of those lifers released by a governor, having been freed last year after 29 years behind bars.

Meanwhile, Raziel Jeffers has been in jail since 2010, after he was charged and then later convicted of the murder of Marcus Ebanks in 2009 and Damion Ming in 2010. He was given a lengthy tariff in comparison, and is arguing it is unfair that he must serve 38 years before he even gets a date for just a hearing with no guarantee of release.

The issue of the discrepancy in time to be served by killers is being aired in the appeal court this week for the first time since the tariff system was introduced. But the crown has argued that most of the lifers pressing the idea that this has created an injustice and the tariffs should be lower had no legitimate expectation of ever being released earlier than their tariffs for a number of reasons.

Firstly, that they were all sentenced relatively recently and even if the governor’s discretionary power, which has now been abolished, was still in effect, they are all many years away from being in a position to make the plea in any event. Secondly, given only three prisoners were released by the governor before the tariff system was implemented, there was no real time to build up any genuine legitimate expectation that life did not, after all, mean life.

The court has heard arguments from five lifers this week regarding their time in jail, including from Jeffery Barnes, the only lifer who did not commit murder. He is a serial rapist who is serving a life sentence for a particularly brutal rape, which was also his third offence. Following the completion of the arguments on Friday, the Court of Appeal has adjourned all the cases.

The senior justices are expected to submit rulings later in this appeal session on the wider issue of the fairness of the tariffs for those convicted before the law was implemented, as well as the individual appeals on the five lifers, who also argue that their tariffs are in any event excessive.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is why there continues to be so much vicious crime going on here because the perpetrators know that even if they kill it is only a matter of time before they are freed by our inept Governor..Why does he think it is necessary to let all of these murders out on our streets..Would he do this in his hometown in the UK? Can’t wait to see him board that BA flight out of here.

    CNS NOTE: For the purpose of clarity the above story has been updated slightly. Following the report of the court proceedings last week CNS has also learned from official sources that Manderson was actually freed by the Conditional Release Board having written to the governor in 2015 when Helen Kilpatrick still held office. It was then passed to the parole board which merged into the conditional release board after the law was changed. That new board then supervised Manderson’s gradual release into the community on license.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lifer is 100 years, 30 years are house loans not murder charges.

    Cayman needs a death sentences as crime increases.

    What is happening to my country….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Better hide your Cheerios

  4. Anonymous says:

    This place is a joke for murderers, thats one of the reasons that they murder, they get 20 to 26 years in jail, they come out laughing for the dead ones are dead forever . Shame on this island system, they should have to stay in jail until they are dead or the dead ones come back to life and to hell with the U K system.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Jeffery Barnes is ever released I pray the next person he brutally rapes is the stupid dufus that signs his release papers. Make sure you leave you contact details and directions to your house on his release papers

  6. Anonymous says:

    Un-“F&^kING” believable! He murders someone and gets punishment and freed. Sounds easy enough to do knowing you’ll be free one day. I’m sure there some simple minds out there that are now thinking, “Well I’ll get out after a few years, so what the hell”

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yeah. Faced with over 20 years in jail I would say what the hell too ! Not. The sentence is not a primary determinant of when people take a decision to kill someone – whether it’s 24 years or life: but no one consciously trades that much time in jail. They either don’t think of the consequences at all or they think they are going to get away with it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    8 28 sooo glad recidivism got your attention….
    Think on it
    Ra ci da vism…….
    We are going to keep spelling it out badly so everyone will think about it.
    Reoffenders …..
    Scary and society will protect themselves.
    Lock your cars and doors and ladies use your knees to push over jerks when you are assaulted by criminals out there.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If only we could release the UK’s murderers/terrorists back on the streets then it would be mutual.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s exactly what is happening- we are employing the same system as the UK, because like it or not as a BOT we are subject to the same human rights issues that forced the UK to introduce the system.

  9. Anonymous says:

    1) How come these releases are done without notice or publication? 2) Which governors did the releasing? 3) Where are their findings or reports justifying the releases? It’s not good enough just to say oh, the governor is exercising his perogatives.

  10. Just asking. says:

    Just asking did they find enough evidence to convict Steve and George for murder. If so can you show me that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well given they were convicted of murder by a court then it’s pretty evident that the court at least was satisfied by the evidence at the time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “McAndy Thomas, who was convicted in 1991 of killing 77-year-old Ratmir Pavlovic during a jewellery store robbery”

    McAndy Thomas murdered an old man in cold blood after pistol whipping him and then shooting him while he was on his feet and then again while he was on the ground on his knees because McAndy was/is/will always be a selfish murdering worthless asshole who felt he didn’t have to work like the rest of us and could just take what he wanted and fuck anyone who interfered.

    Hey McAndy, here is something you didn’t know about the hero you killed.

    Ratmir Pavlovic, or Papa as he was known to those who knew him, served in the first world war, was a resistance fighter against the nazies and Mussolini in the second world war, help found youth programs in Jamaica to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble so they had a chance to grow and be decent human beings unlike you, loving father and husband to his family, a great friend to mine and one of the nicest, sweetest old men I have known.

    He always had a laugh and story to tell and would not hesitate to help you if you needed it and out of all the things he survived in his life, was a part of and witnessed, he came to Cayman only to be executed like a dog by a cowardly piece of shit. Papa on his worse day was/still is worth 1 million McAndy’s on his best.

    McAndy had and still has nothing to offer society as far as I am concerned and does not deserve to be free. If Cayman still had the death penalty at the time I would have volunteered to do it and to think his family had the nerve to ask Mr. McNamee not to press charges against him. I was in Gold Royale that day when Papa was killed. There was NO reason to kill that old man. I was told Papa tried to stop him, what threat was a 77 year old man to him. Pistol whipping him should have been enough but no, McAndy wanted or needed blood that day.

    24 years was not enough incarceration time and shame on the Governor for pardoning him. Some people need to remain locked up. As long as McAndy is a free man, society’s worth is lessened.

    • C says:

      Couldn’t agree more! I’m so shocked to find that he has been released. He shouldn’t have been!!

    • Anonymous says:

      But he found Jesus.
      That makes it all better

    • Anonymous says:

      I want the person who thumbs down this to explain why he defending this piece of shit.

    • Anonymous says:

      @12:10 Well said and I agree with you 100%. I am disgusted by these releases particularly this scum. I also knew Mr. Pavlov. He was a strong supporter of our team, Scholars in the 80’s and helped us anyway he would including coaching. As young men on the team we all had the highest respect for him.

      It was a very sad day when we received the news of his murder and it affected many of us deeply.

      How can his murderer be released on license? The question of whether x time served for murdering someone is unfair is RIDICULOUS!

      How can a price be put on someone’s life? Is my life only worth 30 years? Is the governor’s life or the lives of the appeal judges worth 30 years? This license release is absolute BS and pure madness! Murders give up the right to live amongst our community and it needs to remain that way. NO APOLOGIES.

    • Anonymous says:

      Article states he was 77 years old in 1991. So he was 1-4 years old when he served in WWI ??

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes he did at that age. We’re are not talking about the American armed forces. European countries where the war was actually happening used anyone they could. I’ve seen copies of his original discharge papers, the medal of service he received and a picture of a VERY young Papa in uniform.

    • Anonymous says:

      ………and I am sure that McAndy Thomas was greeted by a cordial “hello my friend” from Papa Pavlovic. Killing him was the answer he got.

    • Dekker Malatavic says:

      To Mr. Anonymous 24/08/2019,

      That was a very touching letter written to about my friend Papa. There is just one discrepancy, he did not serve in the Great War, he served in the second Great War as a soldier and as a resistance fighter along with my father.

      He and his family left then Yugoslavia to escape the Great War to Albania. When the war was over, they returned to Yugoslavia to rebuild. Papa joined the Yugoslavian forces at the end of 1940 and served up until the defense of the country collapsed due to Nazis and forced with the choice of serving under Nazi authority or fleeing, he made the choice to join the resistance and served until the Nazis had been pushed back between the threat of the American and British forces coming up through Italy and soon after with the Russian counter offensive.

      When I heard about Papa’s death I was in shock, as was my father who was never the same after. Papa saved my father’s life while maneuvering through the mountains to escape a Nazi patrol.

      It still saddens me to this day that he is gone and somehow the scales are out of balance that his killer is free.

    • Anonymous says:

      But this article is about steve manderson , am i missing something was he also involved in the robbery/murder ?

  12. Anonymous says:

    How were Steve’s numerous escapes from Northward treated by the court? I didn’t see that mentioned in the CNS article.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Maybe NRA or someone else should give him a job to keep busy and adjust to the outside life. Everyone deserves a chance.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just let all the prisoners loose, then have them vote for the Unity Team government. We do not need any law & order because this is the Cayman Islands! While you politicians are at suspend all the traffic laws so that will free up the police.

  15. Elvis says:

    And your just finding this out today? He has been out for best part of 12 months working hard and trying to make an honest living. Kick one of your own while he tries to do the right thing now why don’t you.
    What a mess

    • Anonymous says:

      2: 33 am, remember the dead one is still dead and will always be dead , don’t you ever think of that and his family ?

      • Anonymous says:

        i am guessing that the HRC is saying that the dead or their families don’t have no rights, who are they to say that some one life expectancy is 30-40 years.

  16. Caymanian gossip says:

    Yes he was serving a life sentence but what about all his escapes, I recall a massive man hut after hurricane Ivan as well.
    Hopefully Steve will now better his life with his family, especially his mother who is one of the hardest working ladies I know.
    Good luck to you sir and all we ask is with this second chance at life is not to go down the same road.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, we are releasing the murders now from prison..I’m sorry if you take somebody’s life you need to stay your ass behind bars for life..no Governor should have the right to let them out..Does anyone think they won’t kill again?

    Still dumbfounded why england got rid of the death penalty…SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen to that. Life should mean life!

    • Anonymous says:

      And transportation. And drawing and quartering. Cut the recidivism rate right down. A few accidental punishments of innocent people along the way, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And they were probably guilty of something else anyway. Anyway, once we have gotten rid of the EU we can get to a good old fashioned capital punishment regime, like our good friends in the US, where it works so well.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Murders released to murder again, all in the name of Human Rights. What about the rights of the law abiding citizens?

  19. anon says:

    “It emerged today that since 2013, 7 lifers have been given early release” – were the public informed that these murderers were back on the streets?.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can the court or cns confirm if any of these lifers recently released have been rehabilitated?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally our voices have been heard. #freesteve

    • Anonymous says:

      Steve should be allowed to live his life and I only wish he has a support system to help him on this journey. I for one know that Steve and George can do a lot if good for the youth of Cayman and I say lets support them to right their wrongs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can they bring the dead back to life? No they can’t and the only good they could do for society is switch places with those they killed and let good decent people live.

      • Anonymous says:

        To right his wrongs? Is he Jesus? Can he bring someone back from the dead? Don’t think so.

  22. Anon says:

    Racidavism coming up!!!!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha, this place is a joke.

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