Nine month sentence for robbery attempt

Alcohol and stress probably led to unplanned attack

Calmore Wilbur Range, 41, was sentenced on Friday to nine months imprisonment for what Justice Charles Quin called a hopeless and clumsy robbery attempt. 

Range previously pleaded guilty to attempting to steal a bag of cash from a courier and using force against him outside the Foster’s Supermarket in Countryside Village on 2 December, 2011. 

The courier was leaving the store with a black canvas bag when Range approached, grabbed the bag and attempted to pull it from the courier’s grasp. There was a brief struggle in which the courier was able to pull the bag from his attacker’s grip. In doing so, he fell to the ground with the bag and the would-be robber ran off.  

After hearing the facts from the Crown and mitigation from defence attorney John Furniss, the judge accepted that the attempted robbery was unplanned and opportunistic, with little chance of success owing to the fact that Range did not disguise himself or have a weapon. But, Justice Quin pointed out, Range’s action had to have alarmed the courier and other people around at the time, so there had to be a custodial sentence.  

Mr. Furniss said Range had consumed three or four beers that evening and was walking to the store to get a meal. He had just spoken with a relative in Venezuela and learned that his mother was ill. 

The attorney said, and Crown Counsel agreed, that the robbery attempt was spontaneous. Nothing was stolen and no one was injured. A witness to the incident recognised Range and police were advised. Four days later, Range was arrested at the airport as he was trying to get to Venezuela. From that point he co-operated and made full admissions. 

Mr. Furniss told the court that Range possessed Caymanian status, was well thought of by his employers and had no previous convictions. He was assessed by the Probation Department as being at low risk of re-offending. 

In his sentencing remarks, the judge indicated that Range’s decision to attempt the robbery and obtain instant wealth probably came from his earlier consumption of alcohol and the news of his mother’s illness. 

The tariff for an unsophisticated commercial robbery attempt is one to three years, the judge noted. In his view the appropriate sentence was 12 months, with a three-month discount for the guilty plea. Time in custody will count toward the sentence.  

Range was first brought to court on a charge of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence, after the courier said the person who tried to rob him had a firearm. However, he was unable to provide any detail, saying only that he saw what he saw. No firearm was ever found. On the basis that this evidence was too vague, the Crown withdrew that charge and brought the new charge of attempted robbery in its place (Caymanian Compass, 14 December). 


Compass reporter Stuart Wilson contributed to this story.