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Visiting granny, family face gun, fireworks charge

Visiting granny, family face gun, fireworks charge



TRINIDAD and TOBAGO – A 66-year-old grandmother on a visit from the United Sates appeared in a San Fernando Court yesterday charged with the illegal possession of a gun, ammunition and fireworks.

Veronica Hospedales may not be home for Christmas-as a condition for getting bail, she was ordered to surrender her passport.{{more}}

She is charged jointly with her son, businessman Anthony Hospedales, 44, his wife, Celestine Mendoza, 44, and three teenagers, one of whom is a 13-year-old girl.

The family was arrested by Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) officers at their home at Bennet Drive, Block 3, Palmiste, before daybreak on Monday. They appeared before San Fernando Second Court Magistrate, Ameena Deonarinesingh, Tuesday.

Anthony Hospedales was charged separately with possession of a Taurus handgun, six rounds of ammunition, and 168 pieces of fireworks.

All six were charged jointly with the possession of arms and ammunition and fireworks, contrary to the Explosives and Firearms Act.

The teenagers were allowed bail of $2,500 each.

Defence attorney Ian Brooks asked for bail to be granted Anthony Hospedales. He said Hospedales was the owner of a company called Aluminium Deco, and was not a flight risk. He was granted $200,000 bail.

His wife was granted $20,000 bail after Brooks said she was preparing her two children for end-of-term examinations.

Brooks said that Veronica Hospedales lived in Georgia, USA, and was a retired nurse who returned to Trinidad to sell property in New Grant. He also said she was due to leave on Boxing Day but promised to return for the case.

“She was a visitor to the premises of the accused (so) we intend to write to the DPP for a notice of discontinuance.”

Magistrate Deonarinesingh ruled that Veronica Hospedales leave her passport with the court until her case was decided.

The family members are due to return to court on December 14.