Appeal court upholds life sentence for ‘appalling offences’

| 01/05/2024 | 22 Comments
Elmer Wright, Cayman News Service
Elmer Wright

(CNS): Elmer Wright (29), who is serving a life sentence with an 18-year minimum tariff in a UK prison, has failed in his effort to have the sentence overturned. He was convicted in 2020 of robbery, possession of an unlicensed gun and various other charges relating to a terrifying home invasion in 2017. Wright was the first person in the Cayman Islands to receive a life sentence under the Conditional Release Law for an offence other than murder.

This was due to the severity of the crime, described by the appeal judges as “appalling offences”, and his history of gun-related and violent crime.

Wright appeared via video link from an undisclosed high-security British prison last Friday, when his attorney, Keith Myers, argued that he should not have been given an indeterminant life sentence because there was no evidence before Justice Roger Chapple, the sentencing judge, that he posed such a risk to society that he should be locked up without a clearly defined sentence.

Myers also said that his client is suffering from severe mental health issues and is being punished twice, forced to serve his time in the UK so far away from his family and any support network, having been moved for national security reasons. Wright was initially transferred to serve his sentence to Belmarsh, but it’s not clear if he remains at that notoriously violent institution in South East London or if he has since been moved.

No pre-sentencing social inquiry, psychiatric or expert reports were submitted to the appeal court to outline the danger he presented or the likelihood of his reoffending in the future. However, Myers, who was Wright’s lawyer at trial and sentencing, had agreed at the sentencing hearing to proceed without those types of reports.

Senior crown counsel Scott Wainwright argued on behalf of the prosecution that the sentencing judge was entitled to hand down the indeterminant life sentence because of the severity of the home invasion and Wright’s role in it as well as his criminal history, which started when he was 16.

In 2010 he took part in an armed robbery at a gas station in Bodden Town during which customers were beaten and the robbers shot at police officers while trying to escape. Wright was jailed for nine years for that robbery. But just ten months after his release, while still on licence, he was arrested in possession of 112 rounds of ammunition.

Dismissing Wright’s appeal, the appeal court found that the judge was entitled to impose a life sentence given the circumstances of the crime and the offender, who was a “ruthless and dangerous” man. They also said the tariff was not excessive and given the details of the case, the judge could have easily imposed a longer sentence.

Wright’s sentence was for a robbery at an elderly couple’s home in Patrick’s Island, Prospect, in the early hours of a June morning in 2017. He and at least three other men went on a crime spree that started with a car theft from a hotel car park the evening before and culminated in the aggravated burglary where the couple were tied to chairs threatened, assaulted and robbed at gunpoint.

Wright was given an 18-year minimum tariff and further time for possessing a bulletproof vest and over 100 rounds of ammunition, which added three years to the term before Wright can be considered for release.

Shortly after Wright appeared before the appeal court, Shane Connor (46), who was convicted of the same crime a year later, appeared for a brief case management hearing in relation to his own appeal against conviction. Connor has consistently argued that he is innocent and was not involved in the crime. He also claims that he has significant evidence to show he is not guilty and was in East End at the time of the crime.

The evidence against Connor at trial came largely from the same key crown witness who had testified against Wright. Caine Thomas, who was convicted of the same robbery after pleading guilty, served a much shorter sentence as a result of his admissions and the evidence he gave against two of his co-defendants that led to their convictions. However, Thomas was shot and killed in May 2022 on Seven Mile Beach.

Connor’s appeal against his conviction has repeatedly stalled as a result of difficulties he has had securing a lead counsel for his case. Connor’s local attorney asked the court to move the appeal to the winter session towards the end of this year. However, the court refused and insisted that the case would be heard in the summer sitting “come what may”.

The president of the court of appeal said, “We are not prepared to hang about”, adding that the appeal cannot be allowed to continue being adjourned, given that the application was first made some two years ago.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All big and bad then cry when you feel scared and lonely.

    Seems like a fitting punishment as I would imagine thats how his victims felt that night.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He has been voted off the island…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key

  4. Cayman X says:

    Elmer Wrong! he needs to desperately change his name.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Heard from sources in RCIPS that Elmer Wright is a “seriously bad man”. Thankfully his actions didn’t include murder, as yet (as far as Authorities know). By all accounts, he has all it takes to be a callous murderer!

    Keep him at Belmarsh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully he is still at Belmarsh. The lads there…real badasses unlike our pathetic imitations…. will do to him worse than he did to those old folks and the others he bullied and terrified over the years. As for Shane, even when he was tearing apart the school system in primary, middle and high school, he was according to himself always innocent, it was someone else that done it and he could prove it.

  7. Jamaica criminal displacement working Strategy says:

    There appears to be a competition by our wanna be Gangsta’s where they try to compete as who can be the baddest man around. Not realising that by ending up in prison for long periods of time and returning continually when they eventual get out because they are unable to keep up or cope and function socially in local society because of their self inflicted predicament makes them certainly the most stupid criminals in this region and to top it off complaining about the situation of Jamaican criminals taking over and running their spaces and corners . What did they expect Would happen? The most horrendous part about this we had those in now Government part taking and allowing this criminal transition to take place by placing their fellow country men and women to oversea and manage this situation. This in itself is crime against Cayman by both.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Keith Myers still representing clients! Soon this lad will file an appeal based on the fact that Keith Myers while having been investigated for malpractice and poor representations of clients was allowed to screw up this man’s appeal. Why is this man still practicing law in the Cayman Islands. Maybe because our entire legal profession is not from here and they are protecting their own!

  9. Anonymous says:

    He’s being punished twice, apparently, according to his seedy legal representative. Aaaw, that’s a real shame for this tough guy who beats up old people who are tied up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what the mental health state is of the couple that was robbed and beaten at gun point?

  11. Anonymous says:

    They won’t work a 9-5 but will do this time…lol

  12. Junior says:

    One of many menaces to society

    • Anonymous says:

      And, let us acknowledge it, 8:15, one of ours through and through. Like Shane Connor who is also mentioned. Can’t blame Jamaica for these two a-holes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Significant you only got 5 likes so far, 8:17! We don’t like to hear home truths like this, bobo.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute embarrassment to humanity this specimen is.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Guessing Keith Myers didn’t try and sleep with this defendant.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Stuck like glue.

    Will be an old fuddy duddy when he sees the light of day.


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