The Queen v Arron Marquiss Mclaughlin

JurisdictionCayman Islands
JudgeThe Hon. Justice Charles Quin
Judgment Date19 November 2013
CourtGrand Court (Cayman Islands)
Docket NumberINDICTMENT NO: 0047B/12
Date19 November 2013
The Queen
Arron Marquiss Mclaughlin
[2013] CIGC J1203-2

The Hon. Justice Charles Quin


On the 25th September 2013 the Defendant, Arron Marquiss McLaughlin, pleaded guilty to Counts 1, 2, and 4 on Indictment 47B of 2012. The DPP has accepted these pleas and has therefore advised that Count 3 can be left on file.


Count 1 is a charge of Robbery contrary to s.242 of the Penal Code. The particulars of that offence are that the Defendant, on the 30th May 2012, at Cash Wiz, #281 Bodden Town Road, Bodden Town, Grand Cayman, stole CI$612.00 and a gold ring from Lianne MacDonald, and immediately at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, put the said Lianne MacDonald in fear of being then and there subjected to force.


Count 2 is a charge of Possession of an Imitation Firearm with Intent contrary to s. 18(6) of the Firearms Law (2008 Revision). The particulars of the offence are that the Defendant, on the 30th May 2012, at Cash Wiz, #281 Bodden Town Road, Bodden Town, Grand Cayman, had in his possession an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence, namely, robbery.


Count 4 is a charge of Common Assault contrary to s.215 of the Penal Code (2010 Revision). The particulars of the offence are that the Defendant, on the 30th day of May 2012, at Griffin [Manor] Apartment Complex, Griffin Street, Bodden Town, Grand Cayman, assaulted DC Manley Berry.


Crown counsel presented that, on the 30th May 2012 a man wearing a black mask with a scull print, and carrying what appeared to be a black handgun and black bag, entered the Cash Wiz on Bodden Town Road. The man, later identified as the Defendant, ordered one employee, Rayvon Rankine, onto the floor and then pointed the gun at the manager, Lianne MacDonald, demanding that she open the safe. Ms. MacDonald opened the cash drawer and took out CI$612.00, which she placed into a bag, handed to her by the Defendant.


The Defendant demanded some other items and was given some other items, including a gold ring. The Defendant left the Cash Wiz store leaving behind the other items and taking the money and the ring.


As soon as the Defendant left the store the manager telephoned the police and reported the robbery. The two police officers who responded to the scene were told that the robber ran in the direction of a pathway leading to Leroy Fredrick Drive, following which they made checks on that Drive and came upon the Defendant walking along. The police drove alongside him and ordered him to stop, saying that they wanted to speak to him. The Defendant continued walking and the police officer stopped the vehicle. As the police officers exited the vehicle the Defendant took off running towards Persia Way. DC Berry gave chase, whilst continuing to shout at the Defendant to stop and drop the bag. The Defendant actually entered the parking lot of an apartment complex. The Defendant stop running and pulled what appeared to be a black long-barrelled handgun out of the bag and pointed it at DC Berry whilst repeating,‘I will shoot you, I will shoot you’ The Defendant continued to advance upon DC Berry who retreated with his arms upraised, begging the man not to shoot. DC Berry asserts that he heard a clicking sound coming from what he believed was a handgun.


Meanwhile a police helicopter began approaching the scene and the Defendant walked away and threw the gun into a flower patch, WDC Barboram, then ran towards the man, who threw the bag towards a fence and started running. WDC Barboram then jumped on him and wrestled him and wrestled him to the ground, where he was eventually restrained and arrested.


The Defendant identified himself as Arron McLaughlin and the following items were retrieved from him:

(a) A black mask with the word “skull”

(b) A pair of blue jeans

(c) One black glove

(d) One red glove

(e) Cl$580.00

(f) A gold ring and pendant


The gun was also retrieved and examined by ballistic expert, Alan Greenspan, who found that the gun was actually an Orion Flare Gun which had been modified to accept the calibre 12 gauge shot shell by the insertion of a piece of metal tube into the chamber of the signaling device. However, Mr. Greenspan also found that the gun would likely suffer catastrophic failure, in that, it would blow up or explode if it were to discharge conventional ammunition. Accordingly, Mr. Greenspan said that the resulting projectile would be unlikely to cause death or serious injury. It is for this reason that the gun is being treated as an imitation firearm, rather than a firearm within meaning of the Firearms Law (2008 Revision).


The items retrieved from the Defendant were exhibited and sent for examination and analysis and the Defendant's DNA was found on the black mask with the following match ratio to the Defendant's DNA—1 in 400 trillion. That is, the chance that an unrelated person from the general population could be included as a contributor to the DNA profile recovered is 1 in approximately every 400 trillion individuals.


The Defendant was interviewed under caution on Friday the 1st June 2012 in the presence of his lawyer and on all three occasions on which the Defendant was interviewed he gave ‘no-comment’ responses.


It appears that the experts were initially of the view that the modified Flare Gun was capable of causing death or serious injury, but are now not of that view and, accordingly, the Crown has accepted that the firearm in question can be classified as an imitation firearm.


Although the Defendant pleaded not guilty to these three counts on the 6th July 2012, Defence counsel highlights the fact that the Defendant changed his plea after an agreement between the Crown and the Defence that the firearm was an imitation firearm, Accordingly, Defence counsel asks the Court to grant the Defendant the full benefit of a one-third discount.


Defence counsel submits that the Defendant is very...

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