(CMR) Kasnique Austin Cupid, who was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months for her role in the 2020 Tortuga Liquor Store robbery, has been denied leave to appeal her sentence.
Cupid had filed an application to appeal the length of the sentence handed down in 2022 because she thought it was excessive.
However, in a judgment released in November but published on January 17, the Court of Appeal said:
“We can see nothing excessive, let alone manifestly excessive, in the total sentence of ten‑and‑a‑half years, and in those circumstances, we refuse to leave.”
The Court of Appeal said that the submissions that Cupid should have been distinguished from the co‑defendant Richard Nash are unarguable in light of the fact that Nash was sentenced to a higher term of twelve years.
The robbery was committed by two men, one of whom remains unidentified, the other identified as Nash. However, Cupid is considered the mastermind behind the robbery, planning it and waiting in the getaway vehicle.
The judge found that as a result of Cupid's knowledge of the store, the existence of the cash registers, and her knowledge of the fact that the daily sales were secured in a safe known to her led to her recruiting at least one of the robbers, Nash.
The judge also found that Cupid played a leading role in the planning and execution of the offenses. She was there from the inception, and it would not be unfair to describe her as the mastermind, given her knowledge of the layout and operations of the store. She knew that there was going to be a threat of violence in order to carry out the robbery. She knew the robbers had knives and had the intention that they should be used in the robbery.
“Although the attack on the member of staff went further than she might have foreseen, this was reflected by the fact that the judge sentenced Nash to a higher sentence. This was, we observe, just the sort of consequence that ought to be in the contemplation foreseen by those who plan a robbery with knives of the sort that took place here,” the judgment continued.
The Court of Appeal judges agreed with the Grand Court ruling that the robbery was a breach of trust in which Cupid was prepared to let her fellow workers and colleagues suffer the fear that an attack at night with knives was bound to cause and that it was an aggravating factor that justifies a substantial sentence.