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Two of four charges against elderly woman withdrawn

Two of four charges against  elderly woman withdrawn

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Two of four charges have been withdrawn from a 71-year-old resident of Rose Place, who was arrested during a police operation three months ago.

Theresa Norville was among seven persons charged on July 27 when 100 police officers swooped down on the fishing community about 4 a.m and conducted a six-hour search.{{more}}

The operation, dubbed ‘Operation Illegal Guns in Rose Place’ or ‘Operation IGIRP,’ netted marijuana, including a mature marijuana plant, cocaine and one firearm and led to the confiscation of sums of money and a number of contraband items, including foreign beers.

When Norville appeared before the Serious Offences Court on July 29, she was charged with having in her possession an Armi Fratelli Tanfoglio 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, serial number H12532, and 12 rounds of .9mm ammunition without a licence. She was also charged that she had in her possession three grams of cocaine and 10 grams of cannabis.

She pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

On Wednesday, at the Serious Offences Court, Sergeant Morgan, who headed a squad of officers during the raid, testified that Norville was met at a shop located at the front her living quarters. He said that during the raid, officers found the firearm with 11 rounds of .9mm ammunition, with one round already chambered, in a clothes basket.

Following the testimony of the police officer, senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche discontinued the matter.

Norville’s lawyer Michaela Ambrose told SEARCHLIGHT the case was thrown out, because Norville was not brought to witness the discovery of the firearm in the laundry room.

She stated that Morgan’s testimony revealed that Norville was sitting five feet away from the laundry room while it was being searched.

“Her view was obscured and on that basis she is not able to accurately say ‘yes, I saw this gun being found on my premises’; it could have been put there by someone else,” Ambrose added.

“This 71-year-old woman, with a history of medical issues, has been put through a very tumultuous experience and it is unfair that that had to happen.”

Ambrose further stated that the investigation should have been properly executed and should be an example to others who plan to execute search warrants in the future.

After the two charges were withdrawn, the elderly woman could be heard outside of the court expressing to family members that she has never seen a firearm, except in movies.

Family members objected to her photo being taken, stating that she has been through too much.

Norville is expected to return to court January 30, 2017 to answer the remaining drug charges. (AS)

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