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Woman, 18, Has Sentence Halved After Breaking Covid Restrictions In Cayman Islands

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Woman, 18, Has Sentence Halved After Breaking Covid Restrictions In Cayman Islands

A teenager who was found to have breached Covid restrictions in the Cayman Islands has had her sentenced halved.

Skylar Mack, from Georgia, US, and her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet were originally sentenced to four months in prison after they were found to have violated the territory's strict quarantine rules.

However, during a hearing today (Tuesday 22 December), this was halved to two months.

The couple were found to have broken the 14-day quarantine rules when Mack, 18, left her residence to watch Ramgeet, 24, compete in a Jet Ski competition.

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It was heard that in order to evade detection, Mack removed a geofencing wristband that is used to track visitors' movements when quarantining.

Ramgeet was charged with aiding and abetting Mack, and was stripped of his competition's prize money.

Skylar Mack had her sentence halved after she was found to have broken the territory's quarantine rules. Credit: Instagram
Skylar Mack had her sentence halved after she was found to have broken the territory's quarantine rules. Credit: Instagram

The pair were initially ordered to complete 40 hours of community service, and were each handed a $2,600 (£1,945) fine.

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However, due to revised penalties for quarantine breaches, prosecutors asked for a stricter punishment.

The couple's defence then asked for an urgent appeal, arguing that they had been made an example of and unduly punished for their crime. They also said that the Grand Court should not have interfered with the lower court's original sentence.

The Court of Appeal ruled in the couple's favour and halved their sentence.

In a statement to Buzzfeed News, Mack and Ramgeet's attorney, Jonathon Hughes, said they were grateful to the Court of Appeal for agreeing to hear their case as quickly as it did.

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Mr Hughes said: "We note that the Court allowed our appeal and agreed with our submission that the 4-month sentence imposed by the Grand Court was not appropriate in the circumstances of this case.

"Whilst it was our hope that Skylar would be able to return home to resume her studies in January, we accept the decision of the Court and look forward to receiving its written reasons in due course."

The Cayman Islands has a strict 14-day quarantine for visitors. Credit: PA
The Cayman Islands has a strict 14-day quarantine for visitors. Credit: PA

Earlier this month, in the UK, a Scottish man was jailed for breaching Covid-19 laws after crossing the Irish Sea on a jet ski to visit his girlfriend on the Isle of Man.

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Dale McLaughlan, 28, was jailed for four weeks after admitting arriving unlawfully on the island, having travelled from Whithorn in Scotland to Ramsey, a town that lies in the north of the Isle of Man.

Prosecutors said McLaughlan had expected the journey on Friday to take him 40 minutes, but it ended up taking four-and-a-half hours.

Under the Isle of Man's current laws, the only non-residents allowed to enter are those who have been given special permission.

McLaughlan had been granted permission previously to work as a roofer on the island for four weeks in September, having isolated for 14 days before meeting his girlfriend on a night out.

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However, Douglas Courthouse heard how McLaughlan's subsequent applications to return had been rejected.

According to prosecutors, he bought the jet ski and set off on the journey of around 25 miles (40km).

When he arrived in Ramsey at about 1pm last Friday, McLaughlan then walked another 15 miles (25km) to his girlfriend's home in Douglas.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram

Topics: World News, Coronavirus, US News, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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