Short sentences didn’t help repeat offender

A man with 86 convictions has lost his appeal of a seven-year sentence.

Arley Haylock Ebanks, 44, had the sentence imposed in Summary Court for three burglaries and six other offences that included assault, carrying an offensive weapon and failure to provide a specimen of urine.

His matter was presented last week in the Court of Appeal after the Grand Court upheld the sentence (Caymanian Compass, 2 February 2005). One argument put forward was that he did not get enough credit for his guilty pleas. The burglaries were at a supermarket and a laundromat.

Attorney John Furniss noted that 29 of Ebanks’ convictions were for burglary or theft, mainly at stores or restaurants from which he took lobster. Other convictions related to offensive weapons, assault and drug consumption.

Court president Mr. Justice Edward Zacca looked at Ebanks’ record and commented that the longest previous sentence seemed to be 18 months.

Mr. Justice Ian Forte observed that Ebanks had been treated pretty leniently for years. What the appellant needed was a long sentence for him to cool down and get help with his addiction.

Mr. Justice Zacca agreed that Ebanks needed help over a long period and he had a better chance of getting it in prison than if he came out.

Mr. Furniss said Ebanks was no problem in prison: his problems came when he came out of prison with no controls, no reporting requirements.

‘How can we help him?’ the president asked. ‘A short sentence isn’t going to help him.’

He said that Ebanks was a nuisance and society must be protected, too. One of the burglaries, he pointed out, had been committed while Ebanks was on bail for another.

After discussing the matter with Mr. Justice Forte and Mr. Justice Martin Taylor, the president announced dismissal of the appeal.

He said the court hoped Ebanks’ long term would do him some good and when he came out his addiction might be gone.

Mr. Furniss said treatment had been recommended by the magistrate who sentenced Ebanks. The judges said they would endorse that recommendation.

Mr. Justice Ian Forte observed that Ebanks had been treated pretty leniently for years. What the appellant needed was a long sentence for him to cool down and get help with his addiction.

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