Skylar and VJ now appealing jail time

| 17/12/2020 | 312 Comments
Cayman News Service
Skylar Mack is led out of court on her way to HMP Fairbanks

(CNS): Skylar Mack (18) and Vanjae “VJ” Ramgeet (24) have applied to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal after crown prosecutors successfully overturned a Summary Court sentence for their conviction for breaching COVID-19 quarantine rules and had the couple sent to jail. Defence attorney Jonathan Hughes from Samson Law told CNS that the president of the appeal court has agreed to hold a special sitting to hear the case.

Hughes said Thursday that he was hopeful of getting the young couple before the country’s highest court early next week.

Mack (18), who is a pre-med student from the US, and local competitive jet ski rider Ramgeet were given four months prison time on Tuesday by Justice Roger Chapple. The judge overturned a 40-hour community service order handed to them by a magistrate last week following their conviction for breaching the Public Health Law COVID-19 regulations.

Legislators very recently imposed much stiffer penalties for isolation breaches in an effort to keep the islands COVID-19 free, and Mack and Ramgeet were the first people convicted of breaking quarantine laws since the change. When the pair were given what many in the community saw as an overly lenient punishment by the Summary Court, government pressed for the director of public prosecutions to appeal.

The appeal was successful and resulted in the pair going to HMP Fairbanks and HMP Northward respectively.

The news reached the US Thursday, when Good Morning America featured the story, including comments from Mack’s grandmother, Jeanne Mack. She accused the authorities here of making an example of Skylar, especially as her COVID-19 tests were negative, and suggested that the punishment did not fit the crime.

Mack is from Georgia, where there are almost 569,000 cases of the virus, with almost half them active. More than 10,000 people have died from COVID-19 in that state so far, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (312)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can the story please be updated to refer to the “FORMER SENATORS” from Georgia who appealed for her release? Looks like the only release they got (and deserved) was the one from their jobs!!!

  2. Bryan says:

    I applaud the Cayman Islands for the great handling of the pandemic, even though our vacation was nixed this year 🙁 You were able to essentially eradicate the virus from the islands by a strict enforcement, setting an example to the rest of the world. Hell, where I’m from in Wisconsin, we cannot get anyone to even wear a mask. I’ve watched all of the COVID press conferences on YouTube over the past several months. Your Dr. Lee is our Fauci. If only Donald Trump could take notes from the way Alden responded to the virus. Alden has a way with words that resonate with the people. My dad and I always say, “Why can’t Trump just speak the way Alden speaks?” Anyway, Skylar broke your law. Yes, I feel bad she has to serve 4 months. But at the same time, as a traveler, anybody entering your borders has to respect your laws. She will learn a lesson and get over it. Again, I think Cayman has done amazing with the handling of the virus. If only the U.S. could do the same.

  3. Anon. says:

    I wonder if so many of you would be so supportive if a young black male were in the exact same situation as Skylar? Would you demand leniency, or would you say that he should have simply obeyed the rules?

  4. PhenomAnon says:

    The idea that Skylar should not be punished because she had previously tested negative is ridiculous. There were protocols and rules in place that she promised to abide by when she arrived in the country. It was not up to her to decide that she was not a risk.

    Also the argument that a custodial sentence will negatively impact her future medical career is not an argument at all. She must have known that negative actions will have negative consequences on her future and she should have acted accordingly. You don’t want to negatively impact your future? Don’t break the law. Period.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just want to say that as an American, I fully support the sentence she was given. People like her are an embarrassment to our country. Entitled little brat is exactly where she belongs — jail!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a Caymanian, somewhere between 50-80, for you forgot how to be 18 years old. In fact, you remind me Mr Davidson, a missionary from a short story by the British writer W. Somerset Maugham “Rain”.

  6. Anonymous says:


    • Hubert says:

      Will the 19 year old Caymanian boy who escaped quarantine get 4 months? Don’t bet on it. One law for Caymanians and another for expats and driftwood.

      We live in a Banana Republic.

  7. Gwendelyn says:

    Anonymous says:
    20/12/2020 at 8:48 am

    According to you, the Cayman Islands hate their hosts because they are trying to protect their citizens and because they are doing everything they can to keep the country free of this virus that has done so much damage to health and the economy, the consequences of which many still suffer. When we travel to any country we have to abide by the laws of the place, why should that be different when others visit us?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is about punishment not fitting the crime. Only North Korea does that. No civilized country in the world would ever jail a child (well, you prefer to call her an adult) who was tested negative, TWICE, and posed no REAL risk to anyone.

      Like one commenter had said: youth needs to be guided, not destroyed. Cayman has already inflicted tremendous amount of psychological stress on Skylar, which will haunt her for life and affect her physical health. And you are proud of that?

      Meantime, McKeeva can’t even hide his laugh.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people willfully drive like idiots everyday and probably have a higher probability of killing someone but are ignored or given a ticket.

    The penalty is fitting though to the mindless hysteria, just not fitting to actual justice.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So if I jaywalk, drive blind folded (yes it’s against the law in Alabama), honk my horn infront of a sandwich store after (Arkansas), keep a couch on my patio (Colarado), lice on my boat for more than 30days (Georgia),place a coin in my ear (Hawaii) I would be be prosecuted.

    But a female adult who when getting on an aeroplane signs a document explain the laws in a foreign country commits a way more serious crime, possibly bringing one of the world’s most deadly virus’s into a country that has no current cases in its population only gets 3 months and small fine, everyone is up in arms. BS.

    Has anyone really looked at this adult lady, she’s in medical school, she wants to be a Doctor! She should know ay better and honesty if I I ran her university I’d also kick her out, as these actions are definitely not one a future doctor should be doing.

    I’ve seen politicians, have to resign for DUI, hiring prostitutes, drugs. Which is worse?

    Finally every country has their laws, when we visit those countries we must abide by them, mind you if I owned a house in Indiana I sure I’d get a few tickets for riding my horse over 10mph and on a hot day in Maryland walking in a park, I would wear a sleeveless shirt.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It was a deliberate, premeditated offence, so brazen that she actually got officials to loosen her bracelet so she could commit it. She was caught in the act, arrested at the scene, so credit for her “guilty” pleas should be zero.

    She should count herself lucky her sentence is measured in months and not years.

    And someone of this utterly disreputable character, let alone rank stupidity in the midst of a pandemic, should be nowhere near the medical profession, ever.

  11. Anonymous says:

    100% of us will die…. I’m not spending all the time I have trying to live longer. No wonder so many are depressed and anxious. The purpose of life is not to gain another day.

    CNS: Risking your own life is your choice. Risking other people’s makes you a selfish pratt.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Say it like it is. Please understand we want all to play by the law/ rules so the Cayman Islands can stay covid 19 free to be enjoyed by all. That’s all we asking.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We don’t hate anyone. We just want everyone comomg here to obey the law, so we can stay covid 19 free, that Caymanians , Expats, visitors and all people here can enjoy islands without being lock down again, is that too hard to understand ?

  14. DANIEL JOHNS says:

    As an expat living here, I found the gov’t to take the steps necessary to make sure all Cayman’s citizens were safe from this virus.. And i whole heartily agreed with the precautions they recommended.. Followed the gov’t guidelines, and we were good. When they opened the islands back up, I went this is gonna be big trouble.. And it has arrived, in the forms of selfish, self-serving, noncompliant people, who could not obey the laws of their own lands, and came here thinking they could skirt ours as well.. So if you break quarantine, go home, and do not ever come back.. Sell your, 2nd, or 3rd, home here. You get blackballed from ever returning … oooh yeah a hefty fine and jail to boot.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The trouble with Cayman is its full of ignorant racist with a parasitic economy that hates its host. This will not end well for anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing ever ‘ends up’ my friend. Things go on and on…

    • Anonymous says:

      8:48-Right on! It’s a totally parasitic economy that lives off the blood of developed nations. They then trash the very nations they live off of. A rude awakening will happen at some point as that won’t last.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont know about everyone, but more likely this will not end well for you, As i keep saying if you dont like it here, consider leaving. If you dont like it but do it for the money – well you know what that makes you.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What about the Minister of Health’s wife? That seemed like another ploy by the Premier to make problems go away for those he supports, while everyone else plays by different rules. I think we need to look at whether or not some of the f the politicians should be charged too.

  17. Annie says:

    Cayman be strong!, Do not back down on this, we need to send a message. Zero tolerance for bleachers.

  18. Annie says:

    If you are informed that you must quarantine for two weeks, and you agree to do so, what is her argument . I do not see any issue worthy of appeal. If you are informed that if you violate said quarantine you are liable to be imprisoned for two years and pay a fine of 10k. That is clearly stated. She made a choice, And now she has to pay the price for her choice. It was a poor choice, but it was hers to make. This is pretty cut and dry.

  19. Cayman Mon says:

    Seems like a lot of the commentors on this matter have gone mental! End this nightmare for these two young people; free VJ and Skylar now.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Guess you have figured out by now that we are NOT in the south. And, you not coming back here would be great too! Yeah we are angry! You people think that you can just go anywhere in the world and do as you please like you have some kind of superior entitlements. Get a grip! America is and has always been a bully to the world and their rules, you are apparently no exception…
    Cayman has pretty much been Covid-19 free until flights started arriving, why should we have to be the one to lie down, and have you American insurgents walk over us…
    Why don’t you go to Singapore or North or South Korea? Shit go to Cuba or Russia or any other mans country and see what happens when you break their laws. OOOOhhh I already know, you call down on your Embassy? Your full of shit to think that the Cayman people have a third world mentality. Leave already you are certainly not on the Forbes list, so “PUFF” be gone!!! And take the rest of your insurgents with you. Economy leeches!!! Hide your money somewhere else bo-bo!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Bimbo and her family believe she was jailed just for breaking quarantine.
      They don’t understand that the punishment is for potentially exposing hundreds of people to Covid and lockdown after so much national effort to avoid that fate.
      Somebody please explain that to her simpleminded Grandmother.

    • Anonymous says:

      Scary! Who would want to live, visit, work in Cayman after reading your comment.

      Appears your childhood was awful turning you into a people hating monster.

      • Anonymous says:

        Naw. He just doesn’t like entitled Americans. Can’t blame him. I’m an American and I don’t care for 74 million of the entitled ones either.

    • Say it like it is says:

      12.46pm If you don’t want American tourists (and they are by far the greatest number) and you don’t want foreign investors who are the reason we have such a successful financial sector you will certainly be back in the third world which will certainly suit your mentality.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop using the threat of money as leverage for putting people’s lives at risk. Using bank notes to bully people around has been happening long before coronavirus and has lead the world to this point in the first place.

        Holding people hostage just because you have enough greenbacks is the least of your problems on the day when you meet your maker!!!

        No amount of money or love for it WILL NOT OR EVER save you from any eternal suffering. You heard it here first.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have never been third world darling, get that into your brain.

        • Anonymous says:

          Haha, the know-it-all actually learned something today!!!

          I hope that one learns to be grateful, many millions will not be around to celebrate Christmas or any holiday this year.

      • Anonymous says:

        What’s your definition of third world?

        Does it include per capita income? If so, you best do some homework.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman! Where politicians beat women, are convicted and remain in their jobs. Let me know if you need more because there is plenty

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think that people who come here as tourists or have the money to invest here can be bothered to post on CNS or any other Cayman site. So you’re just using your anonymous empty threats to try to intimidate and impress us poor little residents and perhaps show how important you are purporting to speak on behalf of your fellow Americans (of whom I am one).

        Or, more likely, you’re just another sad little troll.

      • Anonymous says:

        We were never 3rd world……

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