Tortuga robber fails to get prison term cut

| 27/05/2024 | 1 Comment
Cayman News Service
Tortuga liquor store in Governor’s Square

(CNS): Richard Edward Nash (28), who was convicted of armed robbery at the Tortuga liquor store in 2020 and sentenced to twelve years and ten months, has failed to get that time reduced. In a ruling published Friday, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal said it didn’t consider the sentence excessive, “let alone manifestly excessive”, as Nash argued, and that the judge was merciful given the circumstances of the robbery.

Nash was found guilty of robbing the store at Governor’s Square in February 2020 with co-defendant Kasnique Patrice Austin-Cupid, a former employee at the store, and another man who was never caught.

Following a judge-alone trial before Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop in June 2022, Both Nash and Cupid were found guilty and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment. Nash had ten months added to his sentence in relation to a separate case of wounding.

The robbery was committed around 8:50pm on 7 February 2020. Nash and his unknown partner in crime, armed with knives and wearing masks, entered the store where staff members Heigna Andrade and Beverly Ebanks were preparing to close the store.

The men demanded money and held a knife at Andrade. She tried to run away but fell and was subsequently subjected to “an unwarranted and vicious attack involving deliberate and gratuitous violence”. She was repeatedly kicked in the face and dragged by her hair in search of the safe” before the men made off with CI$2,361 and US$181.

The judge found that Cupid had orchestrated the robbery to satisfy an outstanding debt and had recruited Nash, who then took the lead role while she aided and abetted its commission with her inside knowledge of the store. Cupid’s vehicle was used as the getaway car, and shortly before the crime, she had bought the gloves the men wore during the robbery.

Nash appealed his sentence on the grounds that it was “too harsh” and that Cupid, “the person they say is the mastermind”, received a lesser sentence. While the court found that there were issues with the way the sentencing judge had activated the additional ten months as part of a former sentence, the sentence was not excessive.

“It might be said that, given the ferocity of the attack on Ms Andrade, the judge was merciful in concluding that before mitigation the starting point for the sentence of this applicant was 12 years and six months. We have concluded that the total period of imprisonment, although arrived at in a way which was erroneous, is not arguably manifestly excessive. The judge had conducted the trial. It was open to her to reach the conclusion on culpability we have identified.”

The appeal court said the judge had carefully considered the aggravating and mitigating factors applicable and taken into account Nash’s risk of re-offending and low literacy level, which made him easy prey to someone like Cupid. However, she concluded that his conduct during the commission of the offence and its seriousness weighed heavily in favour of personal deterrence, rehabilitation and protection of society.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Should got 20 years

    22
    2

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