Victim loses sight in one eye
Hitting a man with a bottle put Shaquille Demario Bush in prison for two years; it left his victim permanently blind in one eye.
Justice Charles Quin noted that the maximum sentence for wounding in Cayman is seven years, with a sentencing range of 18 months to four years.
“This was a malicious and violent attack,” Justice Quin commented. “There are few, if any, mitigating factors.” He added that Bush’s failure to offer compensation did not convey genuine remorse.
He cited the summary of facts from Crown Counsel Marilyn Brandt and the victim impact statement, in which Roy Ashley Ebanks explained what has happened to him since he was struck on Sept. 1, 2013.
On the day of the incident, Mr. Ebanks, who was 62 at the time, was going to collect limes from a friend in the Logwoods area of West Bay in order to sell them. He noticed Bush and others in a group some distance away. He heard Bush yell repeatedly, “You must get out of here” but did not realize the remark was directed at him because of the other people around.
Then Bush came up to him saying, “Get out of here” and slapped him in the face with his hand.
As Mr. Ebanks turned to leave, Bush, who was 18 at the time, hit him with a glass bottle over his right eye and the bottle shattered.
Mr. Ebanks contacted police and was taken to hospital, where the diagnosis was a penetrating injury to the right eye. He was referred for further surgery in Miami. However, a consultant was of the view that Mr. Ebanks’s vision was not likely to return to normal even if surgery in Miami went well.
He received what he felt was an insincere apology from Bush, who told him, “Sorry, I was drunk.”
Mr. Ebanks was unable to work for six months. He also found it difficult to readjust to his regular routine now that he is blind in one eye. His lack of sight had caused him to fall from a step at his house and he broke his leg.
The outstanding medical bills were $5,526.67 for eye treatment and $2,165.97 for his leg.
Defense attorney Prathna Bodden stated on instructions from Bush, “Compensation is not going to happen.”
Ms. Bodden said Bush was genuinely remorseful and the wounding was without premeditation. She asked the court to take into account that he was “a product of a very unfortunate environment.”
Bush maintained that Mr. Ebanks had come into his uncle’s yard to take some fruit. After Bush asked him to leave, Mr. Ebanks made some insulting remarks. He maintained that a dispute arose in which Mr. Ebanks “pelted” a machete at him and he “pelted” a bottle at the victim.
A social inquiry report revealed that the overall risk of the defendant re-offending was high. He had told the probation officer he would continue using illegal drugs; he said his family accepted his use of ganja.
The judge also noted that Bush’s guilty plea came the day after his trial was to have started.
In light of Bush’s age and sentencing precedents cited to him, plus the above facts, the judge said two-and-a-half years was the appropriate sentence. With a discount for the delayed guilty plea, the sentence was two years.