Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Clansman Gang Trial | Leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan sentenced to 39 years in prison

Published:Monday | October 2, 2023 | 2:24 PM
The 38-year-old musician has admitted to being the leader was given 21 years and six months for leadership of a criminal organisation.

Convicted leader of the Clansman-One Don Gang Andre 'Blackman' Bryan has been sentenced to 39 years and six months in prison. 

Chief Justice Bryan Justice handed down the sentence during a hearing in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Monday.

The 38-year-old musician who last week publicly admitted to being the leader was given 21 years and six months for leadership of a criminal organisation.

Bryan was also sentenced to 11 and half years each for facilitating the commission of murder and arson in relation to the shooting death of a couple in Fisheries St Catherine. 

Blackman was similarly slapped with 10 and 12 years, respectively, for facilitating the commission of conspiracy of murder and murder by a criminal organisation in connection with the shooting death of a man called 'Outlaw'.

The judge also sentenced the gang leader to six and half years for facilitating the gang's commission of murder in relation to the killing of  'Doolie' on Chancery Street in St Andrew.

In addition, Bryan was slapped with another six and a half-year sentence for facilitating the gang's murder of a Rastafarian man, and four and a half years for facilitating the murder of an unknown person.

However, Justice Sykes ruled that the sentences for the leadership and for Outlaw' s murder are to run consecutively, while the others are to run at the same time as the prisoner term for leading the gang. 

Bryan's sentences were all reduced by five and a half years for time spent in custody before his trial which started in September 2021. 

Bryan, who was dressed in grey shirt and grey pants, sat with his head down for most of the judge's deliberation but became more attentive when the sentences were being calculated.

Earlier, before the sentence was passed Blackman was briefly taken from the dock after he complained about what appeared to be chest pains. 

In handing down the sentences, Justice Sykes pointed out that the evidence showed that Bryan was the authoritative gang leader and that no murder, shootings or arson was carried out without his approval and planning.

He also underscored that extreme violence was a prime feature of the gang under Bryan's leadership.

The judge also indicated that there was no mitigating factors to reduce Bryan's sentence other than the fact that he had no previous conviction which the judge said carried no weight in this instance.

Sykes said he imposed consecutive sentences to reflect the scale, scope and extent of the offences.

Blackman's cousin Tomrick 'Fancy Ras' Taylor, was first sentenced to 17 years in prison for being a member of a criminal organisation.

However, his sentenced was reduced to nine and half years for time already spent in prison.

Taylor's lawyer Kimani Brydson had previously urged the judge to be lenient as his client had admitted that he was a member of the gang and regretted his action.

However, Sykes rejected the argument that Taylor was now remorseful. He said Taylor waiting until almost two years into the trial to confess and saw the move as a "tactic" to appear remorseful to try to get leniency.

The charge for leadership of a criminal organisation attracts a maximum sentence of 30 years while gang membership and facilitating gang activities both have a maximum of 20 years.

Three more persons are to be sentenced.

Thirty-three defendants were initially hauled before the court, 17 were freed and one was killed.

- Tanesha Mundle

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