Lawyer: Evidence in home invasion trial ‘completely false’

| 29/11/2021 | 25 Comments
Shane Connor

(CNS): The attorney representing Shane Connor (44), who was convicted in September of numerous charges relating to a brutal and terrifying home invasion in 2017, argued that evidence given against Connor during the trial by the crown’s key witness, who was also convicted in the same crime, was “completely false”. During Connor’s sentencing hearing on Friday, Paul Keleher QC said his client was not the mastermind or the most aggressive player in this criminal enterprise.

During the trial of Elmer Wright, the second man convicted in this case, Caine Thomas, who had pleaded guilty, had told the authorities that Connor was the third man in the home invasion. But Keleher said that Thomas had put the blame on Connor to lessen his own culpability.

He argued that Connor was the least aggressive of the three men during the home invasion, based on other evidence in the trial, largely given by the couple who were the victims in the home robbery.

He said Thomas, who was only 16 years old at the time, and Wright, who was in his 20s, were the aggressors. Although Connor, who was 40 at the time, was more than twice the age of Thomas, he was not the lead in this crime, as Thomas had implied when he gave evidence against him. The lawyer said that Thomas was far more culpable than Connor.

Connor has a long criminal history, with 37 convictions, including burglaries. But presenting mitigation factors, he spoke about how his client had been falsely accused of sexual offenses and imprisoned for almost two years before charges against him were dropped.

He said this had fuelled a significant distrust of the authorities and explained the allegations of conspiracies that Connor had made about the police during his own trial in relation to these crimes, for which which he had denied playing any part. It had created an “unshakeable belief that he was being deliberately targetted”, he said.

The court also heard about Connor’s difficult upbringing, during which he had been traumatized by mental and physical abuse, and the near inevitability, given his start in life, that he would live a life of crime. He had turned things around in 2012, getting married, running a business and straightening his life out, which was all derailed by the false allegations and imprisonment

As the crown presented the case to the court, prosecutor Scott Wainwright said that this crime was at the top end of both harm and culpability and pointed out that the maximum jail term was life.

Elmer Wright was convicted of the same crime in January 2020 and given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 21 years. He was transferred to the UK last May to serve his time there because he was considered a national security risk.

Meanwhile, Caine Thomas, who admitted his role in the robbery back in 2018, is currently awaiting his sentencing decision, which is expected to be delivered early next month.

The judge said he needed time to consider submissions and would deliver his ruling in relation to Connor’s sentence next week.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So basically his argument is the police keeping picking in him because he’s a thieving scumbag and keeps getting caught . Sounds like a good defence

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shane and Caine need to serve time if not both will be a menace to society. Armed robbery at 16 imagine what he would do at 26!

  3. Anonymous says:

    To the 30.11.21 / 11:14am post. This is the sort of ignorance that has led to the social issues today. Rather than accepting we have some very bad and dangerous criminals that has been in / out prison you chose to suggest a ‘SET UP’ . This is a man who used a shotgun to shoit through the window of a car at a stop light in 1995 and ONLY by the grace of God the occupant survived . Mr Connor was sentenced to 15 plus years for attempt murder. He simply cannot be rehabilitated; it’s as simple as that. Bad to the bone so stop feeling sorry about his upbringing or blaming others or spreading falsehoods about a set-up… in fairness His mother tried her very best.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Shane, we all knew what trouble you had growing up. This smells like a pure set up of you by dubious characters.

    • Anonymous says:

      I mean why all the thumbs down? He clearly was amenable to making things right as evidenced by his previously reported redemption. However,due to circumstances beyond his control he got railroaded! Give a Caymanian a break!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people have had difficult starts in life. Most of them still turned out to be decent people or fought through it to become inspirational people. We all have a choice for how we want to behave and the sort of people we want to be. He chose poorly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where are the comments blaming the foreigners ?

  7. Anonymous says:

    This dude don’t learn! From the days of Juvenile Court until now…..pure trouble.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This needs a near maximum penalty if the courts expect to retain a shred of confidence from the people.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What was offered here should not be effective mitigation.

    But it is a reminder of the importance of the system, and why Cayman’s system needs to do better in many respects. (Though it seems to be working in this one, so-called mitigation aside.)
    – Innocent until proven guilty
    – high quality police investigations
    – the importance of an independent jury-based judicial system, and swift justice
    – The huge need for greater social intervention into ‘bad start’lives, starting from early and being ongoing perhaps throughout major portions of some people’s lives.
    – and the need for better rehabilitation programmes for offenders. (There are good programmes, but they have their limitations, not least the number of private entities working with released convicts.)

    Lets try to learn from the current generation and improve things for the next.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop electing corrupt officials! Every path forward starts HERE!

      • Anonymous says:

        The one I voted for is not corrupt. Who did you vote for?

      • Anonymous says:

        Define corruption please. – I ask this seriously as I have heard two ‘good’ definitions/examples of types of corruption.

        a) Taking a bribe.
        b) Accepting the status quo when the politician is told that things cannot be changed.

        The former we can all agree on.
        The later we don’t all see as corruption, but we do all see it as a problem.

        Which definition are you using?
        Which definition should our country use?

      • Anonymous says:

        No one in law enforcement is elected.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key

  11. Anonymous says:

    Do the crime, do the time. Shane is a menace to society, full stop.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I remember being 40. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that if I was doing the bidding of a young crook, and a 16 year old kid, at that stage of my life, I’d probably be reassessing my life choices.

    He’s gone from saying it wasn’t him, to saying he was the least culpable? Idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gone from saying it was not only not him, but that the police had fabricated evidence, to it being him but him being a secondary participant. So his testimony to the court of appeal is that he actively lied to the first court, and accusing the police of making it up, but now he is telling the truth. Sure that’s going to go down well.

      • Anonymous says:

        In school it was always some other student or teacher’s fault, never his. Now he’s still blaming others.

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