Serial rapist’s 35-year sentence stands

| 08/09/2019 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service
Jeffrey Barnes

(CNS): Jeffrey Barnes (39) lost his bid to reduce his 35-year sentence for rape when the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal ruled the original tariff should stand. He was the only one of the five lifers the court ruled on in its summer session who was not in prison for murder. After being convicted by a jury in 2013 of two counts of rape and one count of aggravated burglary, he received a life sentence due to the serious nature of his crime and his repeat offences of rape.

Then in 2018 at a conditional release hearing presided over by the late Justice Charles Quin, Barnes was sentenced to 35 years, with the earliest possible release after 21 years, which represented a 40% reduction on the total term. This reduction is provided for in the Conditional Release Law, which says prisoners sentenced to more than one year “will be released after serving 60% of their sentence, subject to not having forfeited remission”.

At the time of the sentencing, however, Justice Quin said a decision on a possible early release would fall to the Conditional Release Board, which would consider whether Barnes posed a danger to society, noting it was extremely unlikely that the serial rapist would reach a point where he would no longer be a threat to women.

In the Court of Appeal’s written judgment handed down last week, the justices recounted that prior to the 2011 offences Barnes had 29 convictions, 13 involving violence, and within a 15-year period he had been convicted twice of rape, once of attempted rape, once of abduction and once of indecent assault.

The appeal court set out the details of the 2011 rapes, which were described at trial as “extreme and grave” with the victim enduring a terrifying ordeal taking place over hours. Barnes, who was armed with a knife, threatened her with physical harm and death and cut her neck during the attack.

During the conditional release hearing, Justice Quin cited 12 aggravating factors, including that the victim was raped repeatedly, Barnes broke into her home at 3:00am with the intent to rape her, the offence was planned, he was armed and cut her, and the especially serious mental effect on the victim. In its judgment the appeal court said it had “no doubt” that each was an “exceptionally aggravating circumstance” and recounted Barnes’ many previous convictions.

As to the appeal for a sentence reduction, the justices said the only issue was whether the notional determinate sentence of 35 years arrived at by Justice Quin was manifestly excessive.

Appearing for Barnes, attorney Nicholas Dixey submitted that a 35-year sentence was substantially out of line, arguing that the appropriate term would have been 20 years, and comparing it to previous cases in Cayman and in England and Wales. The court found that the cases cited did not provide any guidance in deciding the appropriate determinate sentence.

In addressing Barnes’ case, the justices wrote it was of the “utmost seriousness”, and noted they had already described in detail the aggravating factors of the rapes. “They are exceptional in nature,” they said, adding that Barnes’ previous convictions “seriously aggravate the present offences and are bound, significantly, to aggravate any notional determinate sentence”.

While Justice Quin did not explain in detail how he decided on the sentence, they said it “reflects both the circumstances of the offences and the Applicant’s previous convictions”. The justices concluded the 35-year sentence was not manifestly excessive and neither was the minimum term of 21 years, and refused Barnes’ application for leave to appeal.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (11)

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  1. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Out in 2048. Sounds like a long time. It’s 29 years from now. He has ruined the life of and irreparably damaged several women. If this sentence holds…… IF…… he will be 68 when he gets out.

    If the victim were your sister, daughter, friend, wife, would it be enough? Would it pay for the therapy, the horror, the pain, the self-recrimination and blame?

    HELL no. How many years would be enough?

    Life. His entire life.

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    • sherry hansen says:

      Should be…..29 years of SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, no ands, ifs or butts…Thats called– DOING TIME !

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  2. Bertie : B says:

    Webster dictionary picture of Rapist , right there man , he Looks the part . Rot in hell .

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  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s a little hard to understand how he was on the street raping people instead of in jail. What were the judges doing letting him out over and over for 15 years? Maybe things have toughened up a bit since then and these vicious thugs will be treated more seriously now.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key.

    Also, his last few rape victims should sue CIG for the trauma experienced as a result of their negligence in safeguarding their female residents from this despicable and proven threat known as Jeffrey Barnes.

    – Who

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  5. Stef says:

    Under the jail!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key!! Of course he’s a threat to society, he’s proved that over and over!! Get the scum off the streets.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Do the crime do the time bobo!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Why did Borden get less time than Barnes? 20 years seems to be the standard for this type of crime and might be worth pursuing a further appeal.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Was he a serial rapist? Dunno just asking.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, He served 10 years( along with another scum of the earth running around free now) for the rape of a 16 year old girl. They threaten to kill her if she reported it. He came out and it was said that he rape a number of the females who worked in his Father’s business. He attempted to rape a 12 year old and tried to drag a woman off the road in an attempt to rape her. He was convicted for stalking, repeatedly raping( vagina and anal with foreign objects as well has his penis) and holding a woman hostage for over 12 hours. It is this act (along with his history) why he is serving life. Trust me he earned and deserve to be there for life and more !!!!!

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