Andre Antonio Chase, 22, pleaded guilty in Grand Court on Monday to charges of rape and aggravated burglary. Justice Michael Mettyear set sentencing for Sept. 28.
Chase originally pleaded not guilty to the offenses, which occurred in West Bay in July 2015. He elected trial by judge alone and the trial was to begin on Monday morning. The victim had flown to Cayman from the U.S. to give evidence.
When court began, defense attorney Crister Brady advised that Chase was seeking a Goodyear direction – an indication of what the maximum sentence would be if he pleaded guilty.
Mr. Brady asked for a discount of 25 percent to 33 percent for a guilty plea. Justice Mettyear agreed with Crown counsel Scott Wainwright that 10 percent is the normal discount when a plea comes on the day the trial is to start.
However, he added, “One has to be realistic and consider the circumstances of the individual case. Here is a man with real mental problems, I’m satisfied. It would be unrealistic to put those entirely to one side.”
He determined that the maximum sentence he would impose would be 15 years minus a 20 percent discount for the guilty pleas, for a total of 12 years. Factors he considered included the use of a knife, the use of a cord around the woman’s neck, a threat to kill her if she told anyone.
But, the judge added, he still had to hear mitigation – that is, background information that might be favorable to the defendant.
Mr. Brady noted that a psychiatric evaluation had been ordered, but had not materialized.
On at least one occasion, Chase had declined to meet with the psychiatrist who went to Northward Prison to see him.
The defendant also had had some difficulty communicating with counsel, Mr. Brady advised.
Justice Mettyear said he wanted Chase to have a further opportunity to see a psychiatrist.
After the judge’s announcement of the maximum sentence, there was an adjournment for the defendant to consider whether to accept it or proceed to trial.
Chase subsequently pleaded guilty to rape and to aggravated burglary. Details of the second charge were that this offense took place on the same date and at the same location as the rape, that Chase entered the woman’s residence and stole a wallet, its contents and keys, and at the time had with him an offensive weapon – namely a knife.
Before adjourning court, Justice Mettyear said he had great sympathy for the victim, who had to go through this terrible ordeal.
He asked Mr. Wainwright to let the woman know that her account of what had taken place would be in the forefront of his mind when he passed sentence.