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Jan 7

Ben Tonner QC successfully argues Covid-19 curfew case

In the now infamous Skylar Ann Mack case, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has acceded to Ben Tonner QC’s oral and written submission that the Grand Court sentence should be set aside. Mack, 18, a US citizen and medical student at the University of Georgia, travelled to the Cayman Islands from Miami on 27 November 2020 and breached the mandated 14 day quarantine 2 days later. The Grand Court sentenced Mack to 4 months imprisonment. The case attracted unprecedented attention in the US media. On 22 December 2020, the Court of Appeal accepted Mr Tonner’s submission that the Grand Court took into account matters which it ought not to have done, and failed to take into account matters it ought to have. The Court further agreed with counsel’s submission that the sentence was manifestly excessive in the circumstances. Accordingly, having made the necessary adjustments, the Court of Appeal imposed a reduced sentence of 2 months imprisonment.  Mack is due to be released early on 20 January 2021.