A Jamaican man was attacked by his co-accused while they were in custody after he gave up information on the same individual in court.
Andrew Beckford, who entered the Cayman Islands illegally, gave evidence against his co-accused in court last week regarding their drugs and gun case. On Monday the 42-year-old Jamaican man was attacked by the co-accused, Dencle Vic Barnes.
The evidence Beckford shared with the court resulted in him being spared from a mandatory 10-year sentence for possession of two illegal firearms. His sentence was reduced greatly to 30 months imprisonment, and he could return to Cayman being that he already served two years in jail since his arrest.
The Cayman News Service reported that Justice Cheryll Richards credited Beckford significantly for his testimony against Barnes. In 2020, Beckford was found shipwrecked in a canoe at Spotts. Inside his canoe were 60 pounds of ganja and two handguns with 61 rounds of ammunition.
Beckford was subsequently arrested, and he admitted to smuggling drugs. Even though Beckford was “consistently” receiving threats from Barnes and the other prisoners, he still cooperated with the authorities.
However, in the gun and drugs case, Beckford denied knowing anything about the weapons, but, the news article outlined that since “it was a part of a joint enterprise” he was still convicted of two counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm last year.
Beckford revealed that he never agreed to smuggle the drugs into Cayman, he was only supposed to bring the drugs to another boat. Barnes, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison, was angered by the testimony and attacked Beckford, but the guards put an end to it.
The judge made note of Beckford testifying despite the threats and the attack, as well as the difficulty of protecting him while he is in custody being that Barnes attacked him in front of the guards.
Beckford, who had no previous criminal history, was sentenced to 30 months for each count of illegal firearm possession and four months for illegal possession of ammunition.
He was also sentenced to one month for illegally entering the island and six months each for ganja importation and supplying.
The sentences run concurrently and being that he already served 24 months in prison while the case was ongoing, he is to serve the remaining period and will subsequently be deported after his release.