Marvin Gregory Grant, 36, was sentenced on Wednesday to five years imprisonment for a robbery on the beach at Morritt’s Resort in East End on Christmas Eve, 2017.

The robbery was of “a quantity of packages” and the victim was a security guard keeping watch on a large quantity of cocaine that had washed up on shore. Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran estimated the cocaine to be 20 to 30 kilos, with a street value of $240,000 to $360,000. The cocaine was never recovered.

Justice Roger Chapple said it was no accident or coincidence that Grant had gone to the beach. He knew the cocaine had washed up and he went to steal it.

Grant drove to the resort, reconnoitred, armed himself with a machete, covered his face with a makeshift mask and went to the beach. There he threatened the guard with violence, grabbed the cocaine and ran off. He left a one-kilo block behind. It was tested and proved to be the illegal drug.

Grant stood trial with two others on a joint charge of robbery and conspiracy. After trial in October, a jury found the other two men not guilty, but Grant guilty of the robbery.

Justice Chapple said he did not think Grant was the organiser of the offence, as it was plain others were involved. He said it was not for him to go behind the verdicts of the jury, but there was authority for him to accept a version of events that was explainable and justifiable regarding the defendant he was sentencing – even though it was inconsistent with the jury verdicts in respect of other defendants.

He said he could accept a version of events most favourable to Grant, “unless I am sure that is wrong”. He said he was passing sentence on the basis that Grant went to the beach at the instigation of another or others. Grant had told a social worker he went to assist friends who had called on him. “Had it not been for them, I accept, you would not have become involved,” the judge told him.

The aggravating features included the substantial value of the drugs stolen, the use of a weapon and the fact that the crime occurred in full view of tourists.

The judge commented, “The image of you at the scene, your face covered and brandishing a machete is not one I shall easily forget …. I only saw you on CCTV footage. I don’t underestimate how those who witnessed these events at close quarters must have felt.”

He had been urged to consider the crime “a street robbery”, but said the value of goods and the planning involved elevated it from that category.

He said the least sentence he could pass was five years, with credit for time spent in custody.

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