Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Clansman Gang Trial | Ex-soldier gets over 9 years in prison for gang membership

Published:Tuesday | October 3, 2023 | 4:17 PM
The matter was heard in the Home Circuit Court.

Former Jamaica Defence Force soldier Jermaine Robinson was this afternoon sentenced to nine years and nine months in prison for being a member of the violent and murderous One Don Gang.

A former member of the gang had testified at the trial that Robinson was one of the bodyguards for the gang's leader and that he spent his free time guarding Andre 'Blackman' Bryan with an AK-47 rifle.

Another former gang member had also testified that he once saw Robinson in uniform at a checkpoint in Spanish Town, St Catherine in 2018 and that he had told soldiers to let him through and had asked the witness for Blackman's number.

That witness said Robinson later called him to ask if had heard from Blackman, who was in prison at the time, while reportedly stating that he wanted to "tun up back de ting".

In handing down sentencing in the Home Circuit Court, presiding judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes said the evidence indicated that Robinson received training and certain skills in the army that had value to the criminal organisation.

He highlighted that it was his duty to keep the gang's leader safe and sound and that it was clear that Blackman trusted him to guard his life.

The judge further stated that the circumstances were egregious as Robinson was a member of the security forces and that he was exposed to values that did not accord with criminality and took it upon himself to offer security services to a gang leader.

He described this as a betrayal.

Sykes also said that his role in the gang was clear and that he was providing protection to a man who had led a criminal organisation that had engaged in murders, shootings and arson.  

The judge said no leniency can be offered as a signal has to be sent to deter like-minded persons in the security forces who want to go down a similar path.

The judge imposed a starting point of 14 years for Robinson's conviction of being a part of a criminal organisation.

It was reduced by four years and three months for time in custody, for a final sentence of nine years and nine months.  

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