Judge has questions for three who admitted robbing Diamonds International on Jan. 1, 2014
Three men who pleaded guilty to robbing Diamonds International jewelry store on New Year’s Day 2014 appeared in Grand Court again, but a fourth robber has never been identified, Justice Charles Quin heard on Wednesday.
Attorneys for defendants James McLean, Christopher Myles and Jonathan Ramoon gave various explanations for the lack of information about the missing person.
“I am bothered by the fact that one of the robbers remains at large and unidentified,” the judge said. He asked for input as to what effect that fact should have as he considers the defendants’ remorse when he passes sentence. “A remorseful person comes fully clean,” he remarked at one stage.
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards first confirmed that evidence indicated that the unidentified man was the robber who selected and collected jewelry stolen after showcases were smashed. The three defendants in court were apprehended moments after they left the store, but the fourth man escaped over a fence. He dropped the bag of stolen goods, so everything was recovered except for three rings, Ms Richards said.
Attorney Nick Hoffman suggested it would be dangerous to say that the defendants have a public responsibility to name the robber who had not been caught. He wondered what other matters might be demanded for the court to be satisfied as to remorse. Speaking for McLean, he urged, “His responsibility is to own up to what he had done…One has to be careful of the public duty one imposes on someone who will be serving a long time.”
Mr. Hoffman described the robbery as a spur of the moment thing that involved other people McLean did not know.
Attorney John Furniss reminded the court that Myles was the driver of the getaway car. He said his client “was brought into it, but was not involved in the planning.”
Speaking for Ramoon, attorney Irvin Banks said there were all kinds of reasons why a defendant might not wish to name names. Cayman has only one prison, he pointed out; the court could not send someone to another prison far away.
Justice Quin also asked about other factors that will likely impact sentencing.
Ms. Richards said the Crown’s position is that this was a professionally planned commercial robbery involving goods of high value. She pointed out that a loaded gun was involved and disguises were worn – not just masks, but padding to alter body shape. The incident caused great fear among staff at the store, and it occurred when a large number of tourists were downtown.
Justice Quin also asked for, and received, clarification that at least four people – including Police Commissioner David Baines – were responsible for apprehending the defendants.
The judge set sentencing for Jan. 19, at 9:30 a.m.