Burglar who handed himself in jailed for three years

| 23/08/2022 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A man who called 911 to report his own crime immediately after he broke into a Bodden Town home earlier this year was sentenced on Friday to three years and one month in jail, even though he had left the scene empty-handed. When he made the emergency call to hand himself in, Shimarona Anthony Petrie (37) wept as he told the operator that he had “done something really wrong” and didn’t know why he had done it. However, he initially pleaded not guilty to the burglary charge. But then, almost at the very end of his trial, he changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

As Justice Cheryll Richards delivered her sentencing ruling, she said that Petrie had committed a serious offence by breaking into a strange home in the early hours of the morning where a family, including a child, were asleep in their beds.

Petrie claimed that in the early hours of 15 February, when he was on his way to a 24-hour gas station to buy headache pills, he had gone to a home that he believed belonged to an old friend, where he looked through a window and saw a woman and a child in a room. He said he believed that the woman was an old work colleague and, despite the late hour, he went to the back door, which he claimed was unlocked, and went inside. The owner later said in court that the door had been locked.

Petrie said he had a terrible headache and needed something for it. When he entered the home, he saw a handbag. However, he realised this was not his friend’s home, so he started to leave, then changed his mind and went back to the bag looking for headache medication. He admitted to taking out a purse.

At that point, the homeowner, who was with his wife and child in the bedroom, woke up after hearing a loud noise and went into the lounge, where he found an intruder bending over his wife’s bag. He then approached Petrie, who ran to the front door but found that it was locked and chained. A struggle ensued between the two men, as the woman in the household also awoke and screamed when she saw what was happening.

Petrie eventually managed to get away by breaking the front door chain. As he ran away, he dropped the purse as well as his car keys. When he got to his car and realised he had lost his keys, he called 911 and told the operator where he was and where the police could find him, saying he just wanted to face the consequences. When the police arrived, they arrested him, and during the subsequent interview, he told them that he just wanted to apologise to the victims.

The court heard that Petrie has serious mental health problems, largely caused by a serious assault he suffered as a young man when he was beaten about the head with a metal bar. As a consequence, he has significant and frequent headaches. The judge noted that at times Petrie is almost childlike in his thinking and at others, more competent and aware.

Although he had no previous convictions, was suffering mental and physical health problems, caused little damage as a result of the break-in and ultimately took nothing, the judge said she was nevertheless concerned about the circumstances of the crime, as she handed down a sentence of 42 months. She reduced it by 10% for his very late admission of guilt, arriving at a term of 37 months.

Justice Richards said he had broken into a home that he knew instantly was not the house of an old friend and had made the deliberate decision to take the purse. She said that the presence of a child, the early morning hour of the break-in when people were home in their beds “and at their most vulnerable” all aggravated the circumstances of the crime.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (14)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    a sad reflection on cayman in many ways…northward is not the solution for this person
    how is mental health facility coming along???….the usual overspending and delays by cig and the civil service????

  2. JTB says:

    One for the Court of Appeal, I suspect

  3. Anonymous says:

    Left empty handed?

    More like got free rent and food for 3 years

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please send this poor doofus back to Jamaica or wherever and be done wih it.

    • who cares, I do. says:

      It is always Jamaica, you don’t think he is Caymanian? Try again. 9:11, who knows , you might very well be of Jamaican parentage. Just saying.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He handed himself in, and he is clearly not mentally well. So he gets punished. Low hanging fruit. He should have said he intended to run for parliament or Miss universe – would have had no conviction recorded.

    • Corey says:

      he had no choice but to hand himself in. He dropped his car keys during his escape. He was busted.

  6. anon says:

    In Cayman, more serious crimes of child molestation and pedophilia get equivalent sentences. When will that be fixed? Do those in power to fix this soft sentencing even want to? Look at how long it’s been now. Slaps on the wrist for defiling children. Disgraceful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am all for locking criminals up but 3 years on a first conviction while others get a few weeks for their umpteenth burglary conviction. Clearly his man’s mistake was not having multiple previous convictions including violent crimes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree with you. It’s nice to see a contrite criminal instead of those who wear it as a badge of honour.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.