Lowmans Leeward man  jailed for gun and bullets
Bally Alexander
From the Courts, News
February 3, 2023

Lowmans Leeward man jailed for gun and bullets

A man who was appeared in court on gun and ammunition charges will spend the next four years and two months behind bars after he changed his plea during trial.

When Lowmans Leeward resident, Bally Alexander initially appeared in the Serious Offences Court on January 3, he pleaded not guilty to the gun charges. However, during his trial last Friday, January 27, Alexander indicated that he wished to have his charge re-read to him and he changed his plea.

He pleaded guilty to the charge that on January 2, 2023 at Lowmans Leeward, he had in his possession one Ruger P95 .9mm pistol, serial number 317- 73706, without a license issued under the Firearms Act.

He also admitted to having in his possession six rounds of .9mm ammunition.

According to the facts presented by Sergeant Atnel Ash, on January 2, PC 73 Jack was part of a group of personnel headed by Sergeant 43 John who visited the defendant’s home with a search warrant.

On arrival, the defendant, who was met in the yard recognized the police and ran towards the house.

PC Jack left the transport, followed Alexander and held on to him. The warrant was shown and read to the defendant and he consented to the search.

While searching the defendant, PC Jack felt something hard in the area of the defendant’s stomach. Alexander was asked to drop his pants and this led to the discovery of a firearm. The defendant was cautioned and he said “Officer yuh done ketch me ah my gun, yuh meet it pon me in my crotch, just lock me up and carry me court for me do my five years ah jail and come back fresh.”

He was made aware of the charge related to the illegal possession of a firearm.

The police found one round of ammunition in the breach, while five rounds were in the magazine of the firearm.

Alexander was arrested on inquiries and while on his way to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the defendant while seated in the transport said, “officer leh me hand over two AR 15 and a DRACO and alyuh set me free.”

Investigations continued and the firearm was found to be in working condition. Also, the defendant’s name did not appear in the records as someone who has a licensed firearm. He was subsequently charged.

When given the opportunity to speak, Alexander asked the court to show “leniency” to him.

Chief magistrate, Rechanne Browne, in determining the sentence, found the consequences of the offence to be in category two, or high, and she found the seriousness to be at the highest level.

She commenced at 65% of the starting point of the sentencing bringing it to 4.5 years.

When Browne considered the aggravating factors of the offence she highlighted that the firearm was in the defendant’s possession for a period of time, and it was extremely well concealed. She also said that attempts were made by Alexander to flee and evade the attention of the police officers.

The prevalence of firearms, and the time of day when Alexander was apprehended were also aggravating. Browne said that the defendant was outside, and the firearm was loaded with one bullet in the breach, and the firearm was in a state of readiness.

She found no mitigating factors of the offence and as a result, 12 months were added to the sentence.

The fact that Alexander had previous convictions was found to be aggravating; and mitigating for him was that he is still young.

Both the aggravating and mitigating factors balanced out for the offender.

The chief magistrate added that a trial had started as the defendant had initially pled not guilty, and while this was proceeding he asked for the charge to be re-read to him.

She told Alexander that due to this he will not receive a 1/3 discount for his guilty plea, but instead a quarter. When this discount was applied it took off 1.3 years from the defendant’s sentence.

He was therefore sentenced to four years and two months for possession of the firearm, and eight months for possession of ammunition. Both sentences will run concurrently. A confiscation order was also made.