From the Courts
September 17, 2004
Man fined $5,000 for gun and ammo

Thirty-five year old Nicholas Stanley, 35, of Old Montrose has until September 30 to pay fines amounting to $4,500 for possessing a firearm and $500 for possessing ammunition without licences. If he defaults, he could be imprisoned for 6 months. {{more}}
Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman imposed the fine on Stanley Monday afternoon when he pleaded guilty to possessing a .38 revolver and five live rounds of .38 ammunition.
Stanley was arrested by Corporal Verdon James of the Special Services Unit (SSU) who was on duty at the Iguana night club around 12.18 a.m. on September 11.
The court heard that James conducted a search on Stanley and found the firearm, loaded with five rounds, in his waist.
According to Stanley’s caution statement, he found the gun between some stones in an area behind the popular night club.
Defence lawyer Arthur Williams said when his client went into the Iguana the first time he was searched, but nothing was found on him. He said he left and returned and was searched again during which time the gun was found.
Williams said when his client was questioned he told the police he was going “to dispose” of it.
“You have to give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether he had the gun or whether he found it”, Williams told the Chief Magistrate. He asked that she impose a financial penalty instead of a custodial sentence.
Chief Magistrate Churaman in her reply said she has always been an advocate of the fact that firearm offences should always carry custodial penalties. She said it was rare, if ever, that she departed from her practice but she was prepared to spare Stanley a custodial sentence.
The Chief Magistrate said the reason she departed from the norm was that the police accepted that when he was searched the first time he entered the night club he had no gun.
She however reiterated firmly, “I want it to be clearly understood that I departed from the custodial sentence because of the facts in this matter. My normal sentence is custodial penalty. I don’t want the wrong message to be sent out that I impose financial penalties on firearm offenders.