Jason Richards
From the Courts
October 1, 2021
Farmer jailed on firearm and ammunition charges

A 30-year-old farmer nabbed on a public road with a loaded firearm will spend two years and one month in prison for the crime.

Jason Richards of Walvaroo was facing three charges, including possession of a .9mm Luger revolver, serial number 549.51951; five rounds of ammunition; and possession of an accessory of a firearm, a magazine, without a license.

The police discovered illegal weaponry on Richards last Saturday, September 25, while they were patrolling the Carib public road. PC 248 Charles, a member of a party of Rapid Response Unit(RRU) personnel headed by Corporal 394 McDowall, saw three young men walking towards the transport. She alerted her superior, the transport was stopped, and the party alighted.

They approached the men, identified themselves as police officers, and conducted a search. Police Constable Charles searched Richards’ person, and she felt an object on the left side of Richard’s waist which revealed to be a gun.

“Officer me just find it on the road dey”, he apparently told the police. Five bullets were found in the barrel of the gun.
Richards was taken into custody.

Later that day, at around 4:30 p.m, PC1114 Roberts was part of a group of RRU officers, again led by Corporal 394 McDowall, who executed a search of Richards’ home which he shares with his family. While executing the warrant, the officers unearthed a black and silver magazine in the bedroom of the 30-year-old.

His response upon this discovery is said to be – “that a small thing from long time”.

Lawyer Grant Connell, represented Richards at the Serious Offences Court(SOC) on Monday, September 27, and noted that his client who has no previous convictions of a similar nature, is a father to a one-year-old child.

Connell submitted that Richards did not run and co-operated with the police. Further, that the firearm was not used nor brandished.
He conveyed that Richards was extremely remorseful.

The counsel emphasised his client’s good character, saying that he had walked the “straight and narrow” for 29 years.

He said Richards is also “relatively young”, which is a consideration in applying sentencing.

The lawyer also suggested that there was an element of coercion in Richards’ possession of the firearm.

Crown counsel Rose-Ann Richardson represented the prosecution. She levelled that there is a serious problem with firearm offences, and the youngsters caught with the weapons always seem to have an excuse as to why they are holding them.

However, she did acknowledge that the accused’s previous convictions were aged, and not of a similar nature. She also noted that he has youthfulness on his side.

After considering the matter, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne arrived at a sentence of three years and one month for possession of the unlicensed revolver. One third of this sentence was deducted because of his early guilty plea, leaving a final sentence of two years and one month incarceration for Richards.

A sentence of eight months each was imposed for the offences of possession of the ammunition, and the magazine. The sentences will run concurrently.