October 30, 2020

Jamaican jailed for 12 years for $454 robbery


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An illegal immigrant from Jamaica has been jailed for 12 years after an armed robbery at a gas station netted him just $454.

That means Norval Barrett will spend a year behind bars for every $37 he stole during the raid at Shedden Road Esso.

He was only caught after a quick thinking police office spotted Barrett at George Town Hospital and recognised him from CCTV footage taken at the petrol station.

Jailing him for 12 years for armed robbery – plus six years to run concurrent for possession of a firearm – the Honourable Mr Justice Charles Quin said Barrett had terrified staff at the gas station.

Judge Quinn told Barrett, who had used an imitation gun during the robbery: “Whether the weapon is an imitation firearm or a real firearm makes very little difference to the victim because the fear and terror caused by the production of such a weapon will be the same.”

The court heard how Barrett, who had entered the Cayman Islands illegally by boat, held-up the petrol station in August 2010. He threatened to shoot cashier Maxine Gardner if she didn’t hand over the money.

Judge Quin said: “By sheer chance, a few days after the incident, the investigating officer, DC Ronald Francis, was making enquiries at George Town hospital in an unrelated matter, when he recognised the accused as the man he had seen on CCTV coverage of the robbery.

“DC Francis then cautioned and arrested the defendant and took him into custody. The defendant said he did not have any passport and he had come to Cayman on on a boat.”

Both the cashier and another member of staff at the gas station positively identified Barrett as the gunman.

Judge Quin added: “There was no guilty plea, no evidence of remorse and no evidence of any cooperation with the police. Furthermore, neither the money, nor the imitation firearm has ever been recovered.”

The court heard that Barrett has completed an anger management programme while in HMPS Northward and made a pledge to make positive changes towards his life.

Judge Quin said: “Employees working in small businesses and petrol stations are extremely vulnerable. The Court recognises that there has been a marked increase in violent robberies over the past two years.

“Employees and the general public must be protected from violent robberies of this type and persons committing such crimes must understand that if they are apprehended and convicted they will receive lengthy terms of imprisonment.”

Judge Quin also praised the detective who spotted Barrett at the hospital adding: “Had it not been for DC Francis’s prompt action, the defendant may never have been apprehended and brought to justice.”

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