Lance Myles gets 20 years

Will appeal convictions, sentence

Lance Justin Myles, 21, was sentenced on Friday to 15 years imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and 20 years for attempted murder. Justice Leighton Pusey said the sentences would run together because the offences occurred together.

Myles was found guilty on 4 June by a jury who heard accounts of a shooting in George Town in the early hours of 31 May 2008 during which Mr. Adolphus Myrie was seriously injured.

The case against Myles, conducted by Crown Counsel Nicola Moore, was not that he had done the shooting. Rather, he was the driver of the vehicle from which an unidentified masked person fired shots.

As Justice Pusey instructed jurors, if they found that Myles and another person were acting together, there would be joint responsibility.

Howard Hamilton QC, who led Myles’ defence, confirmed to the Caymanian Compass that the convictions and sentence will be appealed. Notice of appeal could not be filed until after the sentence hearing.

On Friday, both Mr. Hamilton and Justice Pusey expressed appreciation to the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentencing report ‘in record time’ so the matter could be completed before the judge and attorney left the jurisdiction.

Mr. Hamilton referred to an aspect of the report that he called ‘a factor common to so many young men today – the role or un-role of a father.’

He urged the court to impose not more than the mandatory 10-year sentence for the firearm, followed by a community-based sentence. That would have allowed Myles to be under house arrest but work during the day, attend counselling and be subject to random urine tests.

‘He is at a crossroads in his life. He is not lost; he can be saved….Don’t banish him forever,’ Mr. Hamilton implored.

Justice Pusey said he took into consideration the facts of the case, the 22-year local precedent cited by Ms Moore, and the report.

He accepted the impact of an absent, apathetic father and lack of a role model, but noted that Myles had gained certain qualifications and was making progress in his employment.

The judge said he had to balance his responsibility to the defendant with his responsibility to society at large. He pointed out that three or four persons were present when the shots were fired, including a small child.