Four who robbed Blackbeard's to be sentenced next week

Four men who robbed a Blackbeard’s liquor store were “amateurish and inept” and almost “bound to be caught,” according to their own lawyers. 

Pleading for leniency at a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Bernard Tetlow QC for Andrew Lopez, who used his mother’s car as the getaway vehicle, said the December 2014 robbery was not carefully planned. 

He said Lopez, 22, was wearing an electronic monitoring tag at the time of the raid that enabled police to track his movements. He said Lopez and his accomplices, Bron Webb, Randy Connor and Devon Wright, had been caught within a few minutes of the robbery at the liquor store in Grand Harbour. 

Mr. Tetlow said the plan did not have the hallmarks of a sophisticated, professional robbery and was at the lower end of the scale for offenses of that type. 

Lopez, Webb and Connor were found guilty of armed robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm after a trial in August. Wright pleaded guilty to the same offences several months before the trial. 

Lawyers acting for the other three men adopted Mr. Tetlow’s arguments. They argued that the men should get no more than the mandatory minimum sentence for a firearms offense – 10 years for Lopez, Webb and Connor and seven years for Wright because of his guilty plea. 

Cheryll Richards, director of public prosecutions, read victim impact statements from staff at the store. One worker said she was still suffering nightmares. 

Justice Francis Belle, who is based in St. Lucia and appeared by video link at Thursday’s hearing, adjourned sentence to next week.