12 years for Durty Reid robbery

The young man found guilty of robbing Durty Reid’s bar and restaurant in July 2005 was sentenced on Thursday to 12 years imprisonment.

Anthony Connor, 24, was charged with the robbery and a further offence of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence at the Red Bay Plaza premises.

He chose to be tried by judge alone. Mrs. Justice Nova Hall heard the matter and gave her judgment earlier this month (Caymanian Compass, 13 July).

In the sentencing hearing Defence Attorney David McGrath submitted that this particular offence was in the mid-range of seriousness – neither a common garden variety street robbery nor an incident in which firearms are discharged and someone was injured.

In the incident at Durty Reid’s, Mr. McGrath summarised, aggravating features were that the robber wore a mask, carried an imitation firearm and issued threats to a police officer who was there in a civilian capacity.

On the other hand, this was a relatively unsophisticated offence, a relatively small amount of money was taken – some $800, the incident was brief and no one was hurt. Although a number of persons were pout in fear, it was for a short time and the circumstances were calmed by the off-duty officer.

Mr. McGrath noted that Cayman does not have a large number of robbery cases to draw comparisons from. But he referred to records for nine persons convicted between 1999 and 2002. Their sentences ranged between four years and ten years.

It was noted that a tenth man received 18 years for a robbery in which someone was fatally shot, but this defendant was subsequently sentenced to life for murder as a result of the shooting.

Before passing sentence, the judge asked about the recent amendment to the Firearms Law. She said it was not her interpretation that imitation firearms attracted the new minimum sentence of 10 years.

Mr. McGrath and Crown Counsel Trevor Ward, who conducted the prosecution in this case, agreed with her.

After referring to sentencing guidelines, the judge imposed 12 years for the robbery and five years concurrent for the imitation firearm. Connor, who has been in custody since shortly after the incident, will have that time deducted.