Two plead guilty to BritCay robbery

Sentencing set for April 10

Two men pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to robbing a courier outside BritCay House on Oct. 4, 2012, and possessing an unlicensed Bryco semiautomatic pistol. 

They admitted stealing CI$8,117 and US$593, the property of BritCay, from a named courier and putting him in fear of being subjected to force. 

Manuel Ramirez Carter, 33, and Brandon Reno Liberal, 27, entered their pleas one day after pleading not guilty before the start of a trial by jury. After jurors were selected for what could have been a two-week trial, defense attorneys Charles Clifford and John Furniss asked to make submissions in the jurors’ absence.  

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards agreed with that course of action, and Justice Charles Quin directed jurors to return the next day. 

Defense attorneys then set out their clients’ requests for a Goodyear direction – that is, an indication from the judge what would be the maximum sentence he would give if they pleaded guilty. Justice Quin insisted on a written basis of plea from each man. 

When these were obtained and agreed to by the Crown on Tuesday, Justice Quin announced that his maximum sentence for robbery for the men would be seven years. All parties agreed that the mandatory minimum sentence for the unlicensed firearm is seven years. The judge said the two sentences would not be consecutive. 

The jurors were called in to hear the guilty pleas and they were then released until the next empanelling. 

A third man, John Phillip Cohen Ebanks, pleaded guilty previously. Ebanks, 51, had been named as a witness who would have given evidence for the Crown if the matter had proceeded to trial. 

Justice Quin said this defendant’s attorney, Clyde Allen, would be contacted to set a date for sentencing. 

For Carter and Liberal, he set Thursday afternoon, April 10, for sentencing. The six-week adjournment is to give time for social inquiry reports to be prepared. 

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