A 23-year-old Newtown man who pleaded guilty to unlawfully having a 1.2 rifle and five rounds of .22 ammunition in his basement could not convince Magistrate Ossie Lewis that he intended to give up the gun which he claimed he was only holding for someone who later died.
Bradley Simon and his brother Kurt Pemberton appeared before the Roseau magistrate on drugs and ammunition charges today.
Simon pleaded guilty to the charges of possession and intent to supply 93 grams of cannabis and possession of the rifle and ammunition. Pemberton pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which were subsequently dropped against him.
On June 30 at about 6:30 a.m. Constable J Drigo and other police officers were executing a search warrant when he found a black plastic bag in the defendant’s bedroom, containing 26 clear individually wrapped plastic bags with a quantity of alleged cannabis in each of them.
According to the facts presented by the police prosecutor another quantity of cannabis was found in the defendant’s room.
“The search continued and the officers proceeded to the basement of the house and while in that area … Constable Drigo found a 1.2 rifle … Upon examination of the fire arm the officer found five rounds of .22 rounds of ammunition in the magazine tube and chamber,” he added.
“Officer my arm that there… I tell you the gun is mine and the bullet, it is mine. My brother has nothing to do with that,” Simon had told the police officer.
During a plea of mitigation, Simon’s lawyer Peter Alleyne told the court that his client was a first-time offender who had fully cooperated with police.
He explained that “a guy from Newtown” was the one who had given Simon the gun to hold onto. Since that man’s death, Simon held the pistol and did not even know that the gun was loaded.
Alleyne mentioned that after showing the gun to a known convict who offered to buy it Simon refused to sell.
This convict told the police about the pistol while he was being investigated for a robbery. This prompted the search warrant.
“I think he deserves a little bit of credit that he did not pass on the gun,” Alleyne said. He reiterated that his client intended to give up the gun but was not sure of how to go about doing it in a way that he would not “have tie” with the police.
Magistrate Lewis however did not believe the defense.
“If you are a well intentioned person having first made the mistake of holding the gun for somebody… and you’re wondering who to give it to … You should contact your lawyer…” he said.
“That to me did not wash too much, that he didn’t know what to do with a weapon with bullets … especially in these times of violence … First of all he should not have accepted the firearm. I don’t think there was any intention to give it up,” Magistrate Lewis added.
Simon was fined $1,100 for intent to supply 93 grams of cannabis. This is to be paid by August 31 or he will spend 10 weeks in prison.
On the possession of the firearm charge, he was fined $2,500 to be paid by November 30 or he will face five months jail. He is also to pay $2,000 for the possession of ammunition by January 2011 or he will face five months in prison. These two sentences will run concurrently while the drug and gun charges will run consecutively.
There was no separate penalty for the possession of cannabis.
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