(CMR) Madeinys Ebanks-Pol (39) and Adrian Adela Gea (33) were each sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on Friday for robbing Mitzi's Fine Jewelry.
The duo had pleaded not guilty to the charges which stem from an incident on November 18, 2015 where they robbed the jewelry store with force against the store clerk and stole jewelry valued over half a million dollars (CI $516, 201.00) retail.
They elected a judge alone trial and Justice Stephen Hellman stated that he was satisfied that Gea was the robber and that Ebanks-Pol was the lookout. She was also alleged to have supplied Gea with the motor vehicle and license plates used in the robbery. On Friday via video link Justice Hellman said he was satisfied as to their roles and he held them equally responsible in what he called an extremely serious offense. The hour long robbery involved the use of a mask and an imitation firearm; which he found to be aggravating factors. The clerk was threatened with a firearm that had been put to her body during the incident.
The robbery caused a severe negative psychological impact on the victims and significant impact on the business, he said. The effect on Ms. Callan had been life-changing, the judge commented. There had been a breach of trust by Ms. Ebanks-Pol.
As Crown counsel Scott Wainwright noted in his summary of the case, Ms. Callan had closed the store down after the robbery because of the detrimental cost. No items were ever recovered. The owner, local business woman and long time jewelry designer, Mitzi Callan, has been psychologically impacted by the robbery and has since closed down the jewelry store which had been in operation for over 42 years. She has asked the court for a compensation order which was granted. The defendants will have to prove they have no assets and Justice Hellman suggested to the victim that a civil remedy may be available to her.
Cuban national Ebanks-Pol has previously worked for the company for a year and had stolen on two other occasions from the jewelry store when she worked there and was sentenced to 6 months for those. Those items were pawned but eventually recovered. She has permanent residency and has been in Cayman for 20 years.