Boldface plantain thief fires gun at landowner
A thief who stole two bunches of plantain, and fired a gun at the landowner when he was caught in the act, will remain incarcerated for four years and five months.
Plantain farmers, Edwina Daniel and her boyfriend Derek Smart from Chester Cottage, recounted this incident of May 8 2019 during defendant Colly Lowman’s trial last Tuesday.
They said that on the afternoon of that day, they were working separately in different sections of their Lot 14 land going up to La Soufriere.
In the middle of the land, Daniel was resting on a fallen coconut tree, while on the outskirts of the land Smart was suckering. Smart had just finished checking that his girlfriend was alright, when the shocking series of events began.
First, Daniel was staring out into the land, with a clear view because the plantain had been cleaned out. She saw a figure, and when she focused on it, it turned out to be Lowman, sneaking across her land with two bunches of plantain. Lowman was stooped over and walking with one bunch under each arm, according to the landowner. Daniel had demonstrated this motion in court, while looking in the direction of the defendant.
Lowman, as well as the court, seemed to find the action slightly amusing.
The plantain farmer said that Lowman did not realize that she was seeing him on her land with the bunches, until she shouted to her boyfriend, telling him to “come fast”.
The thief stopped, put down the two bunches, and, with his back turned to her, pulled out something from his stomach area. Daniel realized this was a gun when Lowman turned around and fired it at her.
The farmer said that all she saw was fire and smoke and she had to run for her life. She clarified that fire came from the gun, and smoke from behind. The sound of the gun echoed, Daniel noted, and she described the firearm to Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche as long. Daniel said that before this, she was never in a place where a gun was fired before.
“I feel so nervous I could not have catch my breath,” the wide eyed Daniel told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne. During sentencing later, the magistrate would say that the farmer was still visibly affected by the incident.
Although Daniel’s boyfriend did not see anything of the event, he heard the gun shot. He, unlike his girlfriend, was familiar with a gunshot sound since he had had a brief stint in the police force. Smart said it sounded like a shotgun, “real loud” like an explosion.
After hearing the shot, Smart called to his girlfriend by her nickname multiple times, but he heard no answer. He then headed out to where he heard the sound, and met her running, looking “scared as hell.”
Smart wanted to go to where he heard the sound still, but his girlfriend told him not to, because the person has a gun.
She described the attacker and what he was wearing to Smart, who figured he knew who it was.
The matter was reported to the Georgetown police, who carried out investigations, and arrested Lowman. Daniel was called to the station, and she said as soon as she stepped inside she pointed to Lowman, who sitting next to another prisoner, and identified him as the culprit.
After being found guilty, Lowman’s criminal record was produced, which the magistrate said was “ripe” with offences of a similar nature, to the tune of 15 previous convictions.
The defendant asked the court to consider that he has a son going to school, who will be 11 in December.
However, the crown asked that the sentence reflect how serious the offence was. Delplesche said that the charge may have been more serious, based on the evidence. The victim was working for an honest living, there was an intruder on her land, and that intruder “turns around and fires a gun on her,” he revised. “That is serious” he commented.
He made the point that without farmers we cannot eat and so “we have to look after them.”
The prosecutor did not forget to mention the defendant’s propensity for “firearm and thievery.”
The chief magistrate considered the offences extremely serious, and that the woman may have been seriously hurt “for two bunch of plantain.”
Although she praised Daniel as a strong woman, the magistrate believed the farmer could benefit from counselling because she seems to still be afraid.
After many such considerations, for the charge of the unlawful discharge of a firearm, the magistrate sentenced Lowman to four years and five months in prison.
For the theft of the plantain, which were never recovered, he was sentenced to one year and three months incarceration, to run concurrently.