Accused sentenced to 4 years in jail for illegal 9mm pistol
From the Courts
July 13, 2018
Accused sentenced to 4 years in jail for illegal 9mm pistol

A 40-year-old man who apparently found a firearm but did not hand it in, now finds himself having to spend the next four years in prison.

While many were in Kingstown for the Carnival festivities on Saturday July 7, Dan Butler of Diamond said he was mulling over a predicament.

Butler submitted that he had found a 9mm semiautomatic pistol by the bathroom at Heritage Square.

He had then apparently told Franklyn Alwill-Theodore and Vatori Martin of his find.

These two men joined Butler at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday, charged with the offence of possession of an illegal firearm, but they both put forward not guilty pleas.

The police charged all three men, because while on patrol in James Street in Kingstown and upon reaching the Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union (KCCU) building, they heard a gun being cranked.

This drew their attention to three guys sitting on a step outside the KCCU building. The firearm in question was then said to be found lying between the defendants on the step.

“Officer ah find they find the gun ah Heritage Square,” Butler explained.
Alwill-Theodore chimed in with, “Ah Dan gun…he bring me up here to help him.”

Alwill-Theodore then further distanced himself by dropping the empty magazine he said belonged to his companion.

“The court doesn’t accept your story at all. At all,” Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias replied firmly to Butler after he gave his explanation.

The charges against Alwill-Theodore and Martin were withdrawn and they had already withdrawn their presence from the courtroom.

Browne-Matthias had questioned Butler, asking if police officers weren’t on patrol in Heritage Square that night. The defendant replied that they weren’t. “Not at all in the Carnival season?” she returned.

She also asked if in walking up from Heritage Square to James Street, he didn’t see any police at all.

She noted, “you are known very well to the court.” She continued that bearing in mind the nature of the offence, “in the height of the festival season when there are so many people in town, so much great activity… and I know a heavy police presence, I find it most odd that you found this and no police at all was around.”

Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche asked him what he would have done if the police didn’t find the gun.

The defendant did not miss a beat, answering that he would have kept it.

“Boy you ain’t find nuttin!” the Prosecutor stated.

“Persons come to town to enjoy themselves, if you’re in to that kind of frolicking activity, not to be fearful that someone is going to be walking around with a firearm to disrupt their enjoyment,” the chief magistrate said, adding, “and keep it to do what? Not shoot down mangoes.”

She complimented the officer on his diligence.

In noting that the weapon wasn’t loaded, and neither was the magazine, she handed down a sentence of four years.