Facing five years or more in prison for a burglary committed in Bodden Town earlier this year, a judge sentenced Brian Rankine to serve three years and three months, dropping a third of the sentence because the defendant pleaded guilty.
The court heard that a police officer stopped Rankine while he was walking along Anton Bodden Drive in June. The officer searched Rankine, finding more than $5,000 worth of electronics, jewelry, tools and two pairs of shoes taken during a daytime burglary in the Lookout Gardens area of Bodden Town.
Rankine is no stranger to the Cayman Islands court system, having passed through the drug court system twice and faced other charges. Sentencing Rankine to prison, Magistrate Valdis Foldats said, “We’ve given you so many chances … We’ve tried everything we have to try.”
Defense attorney John Furniss said his client has had a drug problem “for many, many years,” calling substance abuse “the demon that drives him.” But the attorney conceded that drug addiction is not a defense.
The judge, addressing Rankine, said, “We know you very well.” He explained, while giving the sentence, “We can’t help you anymore. We’ve got to protect the public.”
After Rankine’s arrest on the burglary charge he was sent to the Caribbean Haven residential program, but was expelled for disrespecting staff and sent back to Northward to await sentencing.
Rankine wrote in a letter, read to the court by his attorney Mr. Furniss at an earlier hearing: “I have a serious disease of drug addiction.”
In the letter, he stated he has had addiction problems for 25 years, and, “I have spent nearly half my life in prison for crimes to support my addiction.”