Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cayman Youth Sentenced to 16 Months In Prison for Robbery of Tourist Couple

Michael Travis McLaughlin, 19, was sentenced to sixteen months imprisonment earlier today (December 29), after pleading guilty to the robbery of two tourists at Barefoot Beach in East End on February 7.

A police report issued shortly after the incident indicated two tourists, a man and his wife, had gone to the area to snorkel, parking their rental car in a pathway off the Queens Highway next to Barefoot Beach. A short time later, as they sat on the beach they were suddenly confronted by three men, one of which was McLaughlin. Two of the assailants were armed with a baseball bat and brass knuckles.

Police said one of the men grabbed the husband, placed him in a headlock and demanded cash. The victims then handed over a wallet containing a small sum of cash. As the three were leaving, one smashed the window of the couple’s car with the baseball bat and stole a camera.

COMMENT: The only identifying evidence of substance was a statement made by a person now deceased, Asher McGaw, 21, of East End. Unfortunately, McGaw was fatally shot in September, although he did execute a witness statement on March 2. Nevertheless, one of the justices presiding during the trial ruled the statement was admissible, even though McGaw had a reputation as a street criminal. As a result, the justices discharged the complaints against Cody and Trent.

Violent crime in the Caymans is not a common occurrence, although it does occur. Nevertheless, visitors to all of the islands in the Caribbean are urged to be aware of people observing them and to take appropriate action. As I have said in previous postings, resisting a violent crime is strongly discouraged, particularly when there are multiple assailants.

As our readers can see in this case, lengthy prisons sentences for armed robbery are rare in the Caribbean, which is why there is so much recidivism.

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