Judge salutes civilians who intervened in robbery attempt

Charles Ebanks and Edward Azan commended as offenders get six years

Two men who intervened after the attempted
robbery of Blackbeard’s Liquor at Grand Harbour were commended in open court on
Monday by Justice Richard Williams, who sentenced each of the offenders to six
years imprisonment.

Jordon Bryson Powell, 18, and Jonathan
Samuel Welcome, 17, were originally charged with attempted murder as well as
two attempted robberies, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of
a prohibited weapon (pepper spray) based on incidents that occurred on the
afternoon of Monday, 2 May. 

The gun was later examined and found to be
inoperable, so the charges were amended. 

However, as Justice Williams pointed out,
common sense dictated that the attempted robbery of the store would have been a
frightening ordeal for the staff, who would not know that the shotgun was

Then, when Powell and Welcome left the
store, Charles Ebanks and Edward Azan, on realising that a robbery was taking
place, sought to intervene and assist the possible victims. 

“To make matters worse, Welcome pointed the
imitation firearm in Mr. Ebanks’ face and demanded his money and jewellery, and
then he pulled the trigger and the imitation firearm failed to discharge,”
Justice Williams summarised. “Mr. Ebanks, who would not have known with any
degree of certainty that the gun was useless, then bravely grabbed the barrel
of the shotgun.” Powell, who was carrying the pepper spray, became involved,
Mr. Ebanks wrestled away the gun and Mr. Azan joined in to thwart the masked

Powell and Welcome then ran, but were caught
by Mr. Ebanks and Mr. Azan along with other citizens who assisted them. 

In passing sentence, the judge said he had
to “strongly commend Mr. Ebanks and Mr. Azan for their utter bravery, clearly
putting their safety at real risk in order to protect law-abiding members of
the community. They, like the store staff, were not to know that the firearm
was non-functioning. The public should rightly hold them in high regard for
their selfless service to the community.” 

Justice Williams added a caution: “That said,
it would be wrong for me to openly encourage other members of the civilian
community to place themselves in potential harm in this way when faced with
such obvious danger. 

“One might rightly think that if these two
gentlemen could step forward in this way for their community, then the very
least that one should expect from others in the community who have witnessed,
or who have information concerning those who commit, such serious crimes, that
they should assist the police by sharing that information with them.” 

Full details in the Caymanian Compass print

Edward Azan

Mr. Azan

Charles Ebanks

Mr. Ebanks


  1. Talk is cheap…

    In today’s toxic environment in Cayman, some tangible reward should be offered to these two.

    A chunk of that Crimestoppers cash reward and a commendation on the Queens Birthday awards day would be more than appropriate; they’ve certainly earned it.

    Enough people who sit on their fat behinds and do very little are awarded MBEs and OBEs every years just because of who they are.

    These two represent the true meaning of being a ‘hero’ and should be given a hero’s reward.

  2. Yes Firery, but these two do have the distinction of adding a new phrase to the Cayman lexicon: Not today, bobo. A phrase which will live on in perpetuity.


  3. Not today bobo said during the attack. These heroes were real FISHERS-OF-MEN and made the Police look salt! Of course, it was bravery and real Caymanian seamen who took them on. It was coming… and I won’t be surprise this will not be the last time robber bump into the wrong folk!

  4. So, 6 years for FAILING to rob a liquor store, but only 18 months for SUCCESSFULLY killing a pedestrian and leaving the scene of the crime while purportedly driving under the influence??? Does anyone agree that the punishments seem more than a bit out of whack???

  5. I thought it was an automatic 10 years for possession of an illegal firearm? Did the shotgun have shells in the chamber – if so then it should be attempted murder as the intention was there.

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