From the Courts
December 12, 2017
Man charged for fake gun given second chance

A dispute which started with money to buy chicken and ended with a threat at the end of a barrel of a fake gun, landed a Rosehall Resident before the Serious Offences Court.

Iran Stapleton pleaded guilty to a charge of the serious offence of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence, in court last week.

Stapleton, according to police reports, committed the offence against the complainant Samuel Callender, also a Rosehall resident, on the morning of Tuesday, November 28. Callender is said to have heard someone calling to him and upon entering his porch, Stapleton stood before him.

The defendant was intent upon an audience with Callender’s brother, one Duncan, who, the complainant informed him, was in the bath. Stapleton apparently did not believe him, and this caused an argument between the two.

Buried in the exchange of words that followed was the reason for Stapleton’s visit, which was revealed to be to collect the money which he had lent Duncan to buy chicken the day before.

Callender then asked Stapleton to leave his yard and this request was refused. While the complainant was walking towards the defendant, Stapleton pulled from his Jansport backpack what appeared to be a black firearm, pointing it at Callender and saying, “Me ah do you so today, 20 something in your mudda c**t.” The complainant, who became fearful for his life, went to retrieve a $20 bill for Stapleton, who took it and retreated towards the public road with the money, his bag and his gun.

Callender reported the matter to the police, who went with him and apprehended Stapleton. To the officer, the defendant said, “Officer, the gun ain’t real; me done throw it away.” However, later that day a search was executed and one imitation firearm was discovered in the defendant’s possession. He then gave a statement admitting to the offence to the police and was charged before the Serious Offences Court on Monday.

Stapleton, who mumbled his story on the stand, did not give a different version to the police in most aspects, but indicated that the money was not the source of his discontent, but rather he became irritated when he was apparently cursed at by Callender. However, he did not deny that he had taken the imitation gun with him from his home.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, in handing down a sentence to the defendant, considered the fact that the offence was serious, but also stated that she was going to give him a chance to redeem himself. She handed down a suspended prison sentence of 12 months to Stapleton, during which time he must not be convicted before a court or will suffer jail time.