34-year tariff for gang murder upheld

| 04/09/2019 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service
Brian Borden

(CNS): Brian Borden (34), who was convicted in August 2014 of the gang-related murder in West Bay of Robert Mackford Bush three years before, had his appeal denied to reduce his 34-year tariff, after which he would be eligible to apply for parole. In upholding the original sentence, the Court of Appeal rejected his attorney’s arguments in a written judgment handed down Monday.

Borden had been found guilty of killing Bush as he sat in his car by shooting him in the face with a shotgun after the victim had picked up his girlfriend, who had previously been in a relationship with Borden. Another man also shot Bush at that time, but he was never charged, and has since left Cayman.

During the judge-alone trial in front of Justice Alex Henderson, it was said that Borden was in a jealousy-fuelled feud with Bush and had committed the crime to enhance his standing as the leader of the Birch Tree Hill gang, as Bush belonged to the rival Logwoods gang.

In arguing for a reduced tariff, defence counsel Guy Dilliway-Parry offered several grounds for appeal. In his judgment, Justice Henderson found the nature and extent of premeditation was a significant aggravating feature, the appeal court recounted. However, the attorney said that Justice Henderson erred in law in deciding there was a “significant degree” of premeditation, which he considered an aggravating feature of the crime, as opposed to there simply being “substantial evidence” of it, the appeal court’s judgment noted. But it rejected that argument.

Dilliway-Parry also submitted that Henderson was wrong to regard the gang-related killing as an exceptionally aggravating circumstance, saying there should be no distinction between that type of murder and one in a domestic context. On this point, the appeal court justices said, “To decide to kill someone from an opposing gang to advance, in substantial part at least, one’s gangland standing is something which a judge is entitled to regard as an exceptionally serious circumstance. That, in our judgment, is what happened here.”

In addition, the defence counsel said that a minimum of 30 years before being considered for release is a very long time and submitted that the court “should be careful not too readily to conclude that there existed ‘circumstances exceptional in nature’ resulting in a minimum term of more than 30 years”, the appeal court judgment noted.

The last point from Dilliway-Parry was that the length of the tariff was out of line compared to other cases. The justices responded that while sentences should broadly be consistent, “there is in such an exercise the danger of overlooking that in no two cases are the facts the same”.

The justices said that Justice Henderson “was entitled for the reasons he gave to find the exceptionally aggravating circumstances he did. He might, on proper application of the statutory provisions, have found more.” The court recounted that in a residential area of Cayman two armed men publicly executed a rival gang member, an action which Borden had been considering for a long time.

“There were no extenuating circumstances,” the justices concluded, as they refused the application for leave to appeal. “In our judgment, on the basis of his analysis of the facts and law, (Justice Henderson) was entitled to conclude that the appropriate minimum term of 34 years was appropriate. It was not in our judgment arguably manifestly excessive.”

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (16)

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  1. Mikey says:

    what does the Bahamas have to do with a Birch Tree Hill murder LMAO

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The Bahamas is suffering because the people of the world and big businesses on the entire earth is destroying the environment. Big countries running havoc and small islands suffering, I pray for the Bahamas people. GOd is still good!!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I find it comical that these murderers are whining about their sentences being unfair!! What’s actually unfair is that someone’s life got cut short, that’s unfair. The fact that you’re in jail for 30+ years… the only thing unfair about that is that it’s not a longer period of time!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Word on the street is, he’s committed other murders but there is no evidence linking him to it.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Yet another tough guy wearing his Moma’s sunglasses 🙂

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done Justice system! What is the point of giving these low life murderers the sentence they deserve, and then releasing them half way through to go on and commit more. They should have committed this heanous crime in the US, they would have had the electric chair. Cayman has always been too soft on criminals. You take a life and your life should be taken also. These criminals deserve everything that’s coming to them. There’s no end to the misery they cause in all aspects of crime. Cayman needs to show them who actually is “the boss” when they are convicted….and it certainly ain’t them!!

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  7. Say it like it is says:

    Our Court of Appeal continues to impress. The clear message to these desperadoes is the only way you will shorten your sentence is to leave Northward in a coffin.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    We all know that Borden was set up from the get go. Where is the DNA? That’s right, not there! Another easy “fruit” is wrangled up in the pursuit of securing a conviction. Investigate further!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, right. So why isn’t he appealing his conviction if he’s so innocent and the evidence so weak. He could have had a jury decide but thought he could get by a judge.

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    • Anonymous says:

      spoken like a true thug who’s mother also said he’s an angel and would not have the stomach to hurt anyone. F’n Muppet

      Muppet “Head” Hunter

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  9. Anonymous says:

    No more Gang Banging for you BOBO!

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