A police officer convicted of two counts of bribery and two counts of a breach of trust under the Anti-Corruption Law was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in the Grand Court Thursday.
Justice Charles Quin sentenced Elvis Kelsey Ebanks, who had been a police officer for 12 years, to three years for each count of bribery and 18 months for each count of a breach of trust, with sentences to run concurrently.
He ordered Ebanks to pay back the money or face another 30 days imprisonment.
Justice Quin said Ebanks had been a “prime mover” in the case in which he solicited a bribe from a Filipino national in return for not arresting him for stealing a mobile phone in November 2012. He had threatened the man with 10 years’ imprisonment and not informed him that the phone’s owner did not wish to press charges.
The man gave Ebanks CI$115 and US$31 at the scene and arranged to meet him at a later date to hand him more money to the sum of $500.
The court heard that when the man offered the policeman an additional $50, Ebanks replied “that won’t even pay for my gasoline.”
Ebanks, who had pleaded not guilty, said the money had been a loan that he planned to repay.
Justice Quin said he had taken into account the fact the man was new to the island and had been working as a janitor, earning just $700 a month.
Mr. Quin said although Mr. Ebanks was of previous good character, a family and a church man, his conduct and behavior was “egregious.”
“The courts in this country cannot tolerate any form of bribery or corruption,” Justice Quin said.
Justice Quin said behavior of the police officer had left the man terrified.
“He thought he would go to prison in the new foreign land for a very long time,” the judge said.