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Layou resident to know fate on gun charges next week

Layou resident to know fate on gun charges next week


Layou resident Barry Antoine will know his fate next week in relation to a gun charge.

Antoine was charged that on June 16 at Layou, he had in his possession one Browning 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, serial number unknown, without a licence issued under the Firearms Act.{{more}}

He was also charged that on that same day and place, he had two rounds of 9mm ammunition without a licence issued under the under the Firearms Act.

Antoine pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on Wednesday, denying that he had a firearm.

According to his evidence, Antoine was smoking a marijuana cigarette and had three more in his possession when he saw police officers approaching him.

He said he ran and threw a black bag, which contained the cigarettes, over a wall while officers chased him. He was eventually caught.

Antoine said the officers retrieved a firearm, but it could not have been his because he could not throw the firearm with his left hand, as the officers had previously testified.

The Layou man said he explained to the officers that he did not throw the firearm; however, they told him he would get six years in prison whether or not it belonged to him.

During cross-examination by senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche, Antoine said that officers met the firearm some 68 feet away from where he was standing and searched about two yards before they found the gun.

“I did not throw no firearm; I did not have no firearm in my possession,” he asserted.

In his closing argument Delpesche said it has been proven without a reasonable doubt that Antoine did, in fact, have the firearm.

He said one must have control or custody for the case to stand and PC York and Sergeant Bailey saw Antoine with the firearm; he threw it about 10 feet away and they retrieved it.

The prosecutor recalled Sergeant Bailey’s evidence that he saw Antoine throw the firearm, while York said he saw when Antoine throw something and when it fell he saw it was a firearm.

The senior prosecutor urged the chief magistrate to make her decision based on the evidence presented.

“Actions have consequences and he must be made to pay for his actions,” he added.

However, Antoine’s lawyer, Grant Connell, argued that no evidence was given that Bailey and York saw Antoine throw the gun.

Connell said York said he saw where the gun landed, but called to Bailey who went to look for it and told him to stay with Antoine, adding that it doesn’t make sense.

“There is absolutely no evidence to show that this man was in possession of a firearm,” he asserted.

Connell read a medical report which stated that in 2014 Antoine received cutlass wounds to his left hand that resulted in a permanent disability of his hand.

“You lucky somebody didn’t stash a five kilo of cocaine in that yard,” Connell said, as if hinting that Antoine would also have been charged for that if that were the case.

Antoine’s counsel said nowhere in the evidence did the police officers point out exactly where the firearm fell, adding that it was physically impossible for Antoine to do what Bailey said and it is supported by the medical report.

“You see the bag, you see the clothes, you see the spliff, but you can’t see where the gun come from?”

He said that there is a discrepancy, as pointed out by the prosecutor, who has not proven their case without a reasonable doubt.

Chief magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias said she would need time to consider her decision and adjourned the matter to October 19, 2016.

Antoine will answer to the ammunition charges on December 9. (AS)