A magistrate ordered that no conviction be recorded against a 31-year-old work permit holder who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.
The man, who had no prior criminal history in Cayman, allegedly pushed and kicked a police officer in the police station after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly on Britannia Drive in March.
“We accept his conduct left an awful lot to be desired,” said defence counsel John Furniss at the sentencing on Monday.
Furniss said that his client did not recall the incident when questioned during police interview, but that he accepted wrongdoing and had never been in this kind of trouble before.
“It’s clear the officer certainly suffered injury as a direct result of the state my client was in,” he said.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats noted that the defendant had positive character references and that his employer had shown up multiple times to court to keep abreast of the case. The magistrate also said that the defendant appeared to be at the “very bottom of the scale for risk of re-offending”.
The magistrate said assaulting police is a serious crime that carries serious repercussions, but he also noted that the defendant is a “responsible” and “productive” individual with no prior convictions.
Before sentencing, Magistrate Foldats read the words of his fellow magistrates from other police assault verdicts, many of which stated that an attack on police is an attack on the rule of law.
This case, said Magistrate Foldats, did not reach the custodial threshold.
He also said it was a difficult decision whether or not to record a conviction, but he decided that he did not want to jeopardise the defendant’s employment status.
“I can impose significant punishment even if I don’t convict,” he said. “And that’s what I’m going to do.”
The man was sentenced to probation for a year and prohibited from entering establishments that hold a liquor licence for the corresponding period of time. He was also sentenced to 80 hours of community service that must be completed within six months and ordered to pay $300 in costs.
The Cayman Compass typically does not name individuals against whom no convictions have been recorded.