Bryan gets 10 years
In December 2005 Anthony Bryan deliberately drove a car into a man he was angry with.
In August 2006, while on bail for that incident, he used a bicycle pump to beat the woman who owned the car, then set the vehicle on fire.
Last Monday, Justice Priya Levers sentenced Bryan to 10 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of arson.
A Jamaican national, Bryan was recommended for deportation after he serves his sentence.
Crown Counsel Elisabeth Lees said the first offence occurred at Paul Bodden’s compound on North Sound Road, where Bryan saw his girlfriend talking to a man who worked on the compound, Mr. Olney Ramoon.
An argument began between Bryan and his girlfriend and Mr. Ramoon, who was in charge of the compound, asked him to leave. Bryan did not. The girlfriend took refuge behind Mr. Ramoon, who chopped at Bryan with a machete.
Bryan defended himself by holding up the bicycle he had arrived on. He was cut in two places. He then left on his bicycle and the girlfriend left in her car.
Minutes later, Bryan returned in the car without the girlfriend. Witnesses said the vehicle drove straight into Mr. Ramoon and he landed on the ground. The vehicle then reversed along the same path – to the extent that eyewitnesses said the vehicle had actually reversed over Mr. Ramoon.
When police arrived, the victim was unconscious and bleeding heavily. His injuries were to his head, including two fractures of the jaw.
The car was traced to Bryan’s girlfriend and police found it the next day with a smash in the windscreen where the impact occurred.
Bryan was interviewed and admitted getting into the car and going to the compound. ‘I went back because when I see the blood all over me I could not think straight and I just wanted to get back at him still,’ he said.
While on bail for that offence, he had an argument with his girlfriend after becoming jealous over a telephone call. He asked who she had been talking to and she told him it was a workman in relation to a house she was building. He dialled the number and a man answered, which apparently made Bryan more irate.
He punched the woman approximately 20 times to her head, then picked up the bicycle pump and continued to hit her on the head. She used her hand to try to block the blows and received a broken wrist in that defensive action.
The Crown’s case was that the pump broke and Bryan then picked up a piece of metal to continue hitting her. As she ran out of the house he tore off her clothes.
Bryan left the scene in the woman’s car – the same car he had used to injure Mr. Ramoon.
Police were called to the scene and found the woman with blood all over her face and all over the floor.
While police were there, a report came in of a car being on fire. Officers responded and found Bryan there; he admitted burning the car. He further admitted he had been annoyed about the phone call and had hit the woman with the pump, but he denied using another piece of metal. ‘I was out of control,’ he said.
Along with the broken wrist, the woman suffered an injury to her eye, plus multiple cuts and bruises to her scalp and forehead. Costs for her medical treatment totalled $3,030.
Ms Lees said Mr. Ramoon’s medical costs were $8,410.97.
Also for the record, she said the car had a value of some $5,000; it was destroyed and there was only third-party insurance.
On behalf of the defendant, Attorney Menelik Miller said Bryan was initially the victim of an unprovoked machete attack.
Of course, one should never take the law into his own hands, Mr. Miller agreed. That was why Bryan pleaded guilty. There were no injuries to Mr. Ramoon to suggest that he had been run over again when the car reversed, he said.
The second offence was in the context of a domestic situation, the defence attorney said.
Bryan, like many people from Jamaica, had come to Cayman to work and send money home and try to make something of himself, Mr. Miller told the court.
Justice Priya Levers said this was the problem she was having with the matter – that people like Bryan don’t make anything of themselves. Instead, it was all about money. ‘They come here, they make use of the country and then they just send their money back,’ she said.
Putting Bryan in prison in Cayman was like giving him a holiday at a hotel, she continued. If he went to prison in Jamaica, it would be a different story. She had been to lock-ups there as a lawyer: ‘You open the door and you don’t see the difference between the door and the cockroaches.’
In prison here, Bryan will get excellent food, exercise, body building and studies if he wants. ‘But it’s like a holiday here. I don’t know what to do with people like this,’ the judge said.
Mr. Miller suggested that anger management was needed.
The judge suggested that he go back to Jamaica and get anger management courses. But, she said, Cayman does not have a provision for Jamaicans convicted here to go to prison in Jamaica.
Because Bryan pleaded guilty first to the offence against the woman, he was sentenced for that first. The judge gave him 10 years, saying he could have killed the woman. She did not impose any separate penalty for the arson.
For the assault causing grievous bodily harm to Mr. Ramoon, she imposed a term of six years concurrent, which means the two sentences will run together.