Man admits theft of four boats

Judge grants bail pending sentence

James Orville Ebanks, 48, pleaded
guilty in Grand Court
on Wednesday to four charges of theft involving various sized vessels.

Ebanks admitted stealing the 45-foot
tender Carib Wave in December 2005 in the vicinity of South Sound. The vessel
belonged to Caribbean Marine Services.

During a bail hearing later, Crown
Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn said the vessel was taken to Honduras and sold.

Circumstances of the other thefts
were not given because Defence Attorney John Meghoo asked that sentencing be
adjourned until 28 May.

Details of the charges, however, were
revealed when Ebanks entered his guilty pleas.

He stole the 30-foot dive boat Dive
& Stuff and its contents from the vicinity of Public Beach
on or about 29 April 2008. The vessel was the property of Paul Michael Deegan.

On or about 12 May 2008, he stole a
privately owned 29-foot Boston Whaler from the vicinity of Laguna del Mar
Condos on West Bay Road.

About a week later, he stole the
catamaran Spirit of Calypso, which had been anchored in the vicinity of the
Westin Casuarina. The vessel was the property of Red Sail Sports.

When the catamaran theft first came
to court, the vessel was described as 65-feet. The defence attorney at the time
said he understood Ebanks was sailing it single-handedly although it normally
takes three or four people to control (Caymanian Compass, 2 June 2008).

Along with the boat thefts pleaded
to on Wednesday, Ebanks admitted damaging the Dive & Stuff and stealing
marine-related gear in May 2008.

Mr. Meghoo asked for a social
inquiry report before sentencing and Mrs. Gunn agreed it would take until 28
May for the report to be prepared.

Justice Charles Quin then raised
the question of bail. It emerged that Ebanks lives with his parents and is
their primary caregiver. He said his mother is bed-ridden and his father is

Records showed he had pleaded not
guilty to the charges in February 2009. He remained in custody until he was
granted bail in September 2009.

Conditions of bail included
surrender of travel documents, a 7pm curfew, residence and reporting to police
three times per week. He was also to maintain employment. Sureties in the sum
of $10,000 were in place.

Reminded that a recent Bail Law
amendment provides for electronic monitoring (usually by means of an ankle
bracelet) Justice Quin added that as a condition of bail.

The matter returned to court later
in the day, when Mrs. Gunn explained administrative formalities that have to be
in place before electronic monitoring can begin.

Justice Quin urged Ebanks to
cooperate, saying the arrangement for monitoring would give everybody a lot of
comfort. He indicated the finalisation of his added bail condition could be
dealt with in chambers.

Ebanks was to have gone to trial
starting on Monday, 19 April. The pleas were taken on Wednesday so that the
trial date could be vacated.


  1. Well grand theft auto is 7 to 15 years. I would say, multiply that by 4 (per boat). And there ya go. Justice is served.
    Sends a pretty clear message as well.

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