A 62-year-old Cayman Brac man behind a bomb hoax that sparked an evacuation of George Town Police Station in September was allowed to walk from court as a free man Friday.
Grand Court Justice Priya Levers found that the two months Delvin Tibbetts had already spent on remand at Northward Prison were enough as he was unlikely to offend again.
She instead gave Tibbetts, who had pleaded guilty, a three year probation order.
‘I meant no harm; I’m sorry,’ a rueful Tibbetts said when asked if he had anything to say for himself.
Defence Attorney John Furniss told the court that on 20 September, Tibbetts had been up all night drinking white rum after having recently split with his girlfriend.
After hearing a report of a bomb hoax on the radio, Tibbetts – a former seafarer and RCIPS special constable – picked up the phone next to him and made his ill-fated call to 911.
Police attended his house and arrested him using the number that appeared on screen at the 911 call centre.
When asked in a police interview whether he knew anything about bomb-making, Tibbetts said he didn’t have a clue.
Mr. Furniss said the only other run-in Tibbetts had had with the law was for not wearing a seat belt.
He has since patched things up with his girlfriend and is keen to return to the Brac for Christmas, Mr. Furniss explained.
Justice Levers told Tibbetts that making a fake bomb threat was a serious act, and that he had caused the police and public a lot of problems.
But she said justice must be tempered with a little mercy too.
The judge acknowledged that Tibbetts had served his community throughout his life as a seafarer and RCIPS Special Constable and that he has an otherwise clean record.
‘They say there are only three things to do on the Brac: drink, play dominoes or go to church,’ Justice Levers said.
‘You must go to church now, Mr. Tibbetts.’
Tibbetts replied: ‘I just want to go home and go to church.’
Justice Levers also ordered Tibbetts to attend counselling. ‘If you have any problems in the future, whether they are emotional or financial, go see a councillor – don’t take to the white rum,’ she said.
‘At this age, and I’m about the same age as you, church is the place to be.’
Mr. Tibbetts’ bomb hoax sparked the second evacuation of George Town Police Station in two days.
On 19 September, communication staff at the station got an anonymous call from someone claiming a bomb had been placed under a car in the station’s parking lot. Subsequent searches by the police K-9 unit and the Cayman Islands Fire Service revealed the call to be a hoax.