Four men in Russell’s  Cineplex robbery get heavy jail sentences
From the Courts
July 27, 2018
Four men in Russell’s Cineplex robbery get heavy jail sentences

The four in a joint enterprise to rob the Russell’s Cineplex felt the sting of their operation on July 12, 2018, with the highest jail sentence handed down by the judge being 35 years.

The facts gathered from the evidence in the case, are that on July 28, 2013, in Stoney Ground, Cleroy Pinder, Zimroy Maurice Guy, Kamara George, Chad Jacobs and Symcy Williams embarked on a joint enterprise to rob the cinema.

Symcy Williams, who pleaded guilty, has already been sentenced, and was the key witness in Prosecutor Karim Nelson’s case, giving evidence as an accomplice.

George drove all the defendants to the entrance, and Guy took out a gun from his pants waist, handing it to Pinder. Williams was told to follow Pinder, as he would tell him what to do.

Pinder and Williams then donned masks and entered the cinema. Pinder pointed a gun at the employees of the cinema, and hit the manager Mohandus Martin, and the security officer, O’Neil Belgrave with the gun about their bodies.

Williams then searched Martin, took his wallet, which contained $710, and searched the box office and took $2,239, the property of the cinema.

While escaping along the Stoney Ground public road with their masks off, Pinder and Williams happen upon Rodney Grant. Pinder was said to have pointed the gun at Grant, shooting once. Grant was shot in the face, and subquently died.

After stopping near a secondary school in the area, the two made the call for their getaway car, and were picked up by George some time later. Williams then handed the money over to Guy.

The police intercepted and searched the vehicle around McKie’s Hill.

Guy and Pinder were found guilty by a 12-member jury on June 5 for the murder of Grant. All four were found guilty of robbing the cinema, and Mohandus Martin. They were found guilty for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition, and the possession of a firearm with intent to commit an offence.

The jury was hung on the charge of assault of O’Neil Belgraves as it relates to Jacobs and George, and they were hung on the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Mohandus Martin, as it relates to Jacobs.

Stephen Williams, in mitigating on behalf of Guy, told a story of a boy who had dropped out of school in form 2 after getting his girlfriend pregnant, a boy without a father figure. He stressed that although it was a joint enterprise, Guy was not on the scene of the robbery, and “he was not the trigger man.”

He also mitigated for George, who, he said, was only the ‘driver’, was also thrown out of school at a young age for using obscene language, and having a porn magazine. He stated that of George’s ten children, seven are in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Lawyer Jomali John, mitigating for Jacobs, spoke of the social inquiry report which pointed to a dysfunctional childhood, as his mother kept him away from school, and taught him to steal at a young age. He said that Jacobs played a minimal role.

Attorney Jomo Thomas spoke of Pinder getting expelled from school in form four, after getting into a fight. He said that in Pinder’s record, there was only one other offence of a violent nature.

Justice Brian Cottle started by sentencing Guy. “You played a large part in the planning of this robbery which sadly escalated in the loss of the life of an innocent man just going home at the wrong time. You provided the firearm,” he told the nervous defendant. “You fully well intended that they would use that firearm,” he continued.

Reminding that joint enterprise made him equally responsible, and that there were no mitigating circumstances in his mind, Cottle sentenced Guy to 30 years for murder. He got 20 years for robbery, 12 years for the firearm related offences, and two years for the assaults.

For Jacobs, he noted that his role was at the starting point. He noted the dysfunctional childhood that he had, and that he had a mother who, “actually encouraged at a young age, dishonesty.” He also noted that Jacobs himself had children. For robbery, Jacobs was sentenced to 10 years, and for the firearm-related offences, he got eight years.

Justice Cottle asked George, who fathered ten children, “Do you think that any of your children are going to be impressed by the lifestyle that you have chosen to lead?” George was sentenced to 13 years for robbery, 10 for the firearm offences, and two years for the assault.

Lastly, for Pinder, ‘the trigger man’, the Justice stated that “in terms of hopes for rehabilitation,” as a result of his long list of offences, “some cases we just have to give up… I think that’s where we are now.” He sentenced Pinder to 35 years for the murder of Grant, 20 for robbery, 15 for the firearm related offences, and two years for the assaults.
Time spent on remand was deducted from the sentences, and all are to run concurrently.

Guy was visibly upset after his sentence, and it was decided that he be removed from the courtroom and taken back to his cell.