Two days after being sentenced in Grand Court to five-and-a-half years in prison for a firearm offense, Fabian Oliver Thompson lost his job as an officer with the Cayman Islands Fire Service.

Thompson, 34, had been on required leave since May 23, 2016, following his arrest for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to resist arrest.

He pleaded not guilty and elected trial by judge alone. On May 8, 2017, Justice Malcolm Swift found him guilty and passed sentence on May 30.

This week the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that Thompson was advised in writing on June 1 that his employment as a fire officer was “terminated with immediate effect.”

Justice Swift imposed a prison term of five years and six months, pointing out that imitation firearms have the same capacity to frighten and intimidate as real firearms.

In this case, it was not known whether the handgun was real, since it was never recovered. The incident that led to the charge began on Jan. 20, 2016, when police officers went to a Bodden Town residence to conduct a search under the Misuse of Drugs Law following the arrest of Thompson’s brother. Thompson was not the subject of the search.

When officers came to the door and others remained in the yard, Thompson left the house and did not comply with instructions to stop. He went over a fence and what happened next was captured by the camera on an officer’s Taser gun. Justice Swift watched the video from the Taser and said he could infer the intent to resist arrest from the fact that Thompson had run from police.

He said he was satisfied that Thompson did take something from his pocket, as officers testified, to prevent them from following him. The officers thought it was a 9mm pistol and they were in fear of being shot.

Thompson escaped but turned himself in several days later. He did not turn in any object, and a police search did not recover anything.

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