From the Courts
May 16, 2017
Vermont man jailed on gun, ammo possession charges

A Vermont man, who openly admitted to outing cigarettes on his skin, was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday, after pleading guilty to a firearm and ammunition charge.

When Calbert Andrews, 25, was brought before the Serious Offences Court yesterday, he was charged with having in his possession a Browning 12-gauge shotgun, serial number 53PP24385 on May 13, 2017.

An additional charge was laid against him for having two rounds of 12-gauge ammunition without a licence.

Police say that around 5 a.m., PC Caesar was on duty at the Vermont Police Station when he received certain information. He gathered a group of officers and they went to a shop where they met Andrews.

After consenting to a search, the officers found a hard object on Andrew’s right side, which they later discovered was the firearm. They also found two rounds of ammunition in Andrew’s left pants pocket. He was cautioned and made no comment.

However, Andrews told the court that he found the gun under a tree one day after he finished picking breadfruit.

He said he picked it up and after consulting with a friend, he was advised to return the gun where he met it, because of the amount of crime in the area; however, officers met him before he could do so.

“I don’t know how come guns are always placed under breadfruit and mango trees,” the Chief Magistrate rebutted.

She asked Andrews why he didn’t just turn the weapon in to the police, but he told her they would have said it was his.

Browne-Matthias noted that Andrews was just released from prison and that the offence warrants a fine of up to $20,000 and up to seven years in prison.

However, she also noted that he pleaded guilty at his first opportunity.

“You would have to get a little time, but I can’t give you seven years,” she further added.

Browne-Matthias also noted that Andrews did not brandish the firearm, but she must also take into consideration the fact that firearms take lives and persons must be deterred from committing similar offences.

Andrews was sentenced to four years for the firearm and three months for the ammunition. Sentences will run concurrently.

The Chief Magistrate, however, told the Vermont man that he is relatively young and the time for rest and rehabilitation could turn his life around, noting that he could also pick up some trade skills.

Andrews, a farmer, was also fined $200 after pleading guilty to an additional charge for cultivating 11 cannabis plants.

When Andrews took the witness stand, Browne-Matthias immediately noticed burn marks on his right hand and when she inquired, the Vermont man admitted to outing marijuana and tobacco cigarettes by pressing them against his skin.

“What about the white powder?” questioned senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche. However, Andrews told the court that he does not dabble in cocaine.

The Chief Magistrate in turn asked the investigating officer in the matters if the Vermont man is known to have any past or existing mental conditions, to which he answered in the negative.

The Chief Magistrate also made-known to Andrews that a counsellor would also be available at the prison. (AS)