2nd gun earns man 12 years
(CNS): A 23-year-old man who hid a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his girlfriend’s freezer has been sentenced to 12 years in jail. Joshua Brown, who was found guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition following a trial in March, was handed the sentence by Justice Panton on Thursday morning after the court heard that this was Brown’s second firearms offence. The George Town man had previously received a seven year sentence in 2007 for the illegal possession of a gun and had only been free for a few months before the police found a Colt 45 hidden in a freezer. The judge told Brown, who wept quietly in the dock, that his crime was extremely serious.
Pointing to the mandatory minimum sentence imposed by the legislators, the judge said it was a reflection of how extremely serious they considered possession of an unlicensed firearm to be. “In a case such as yours the court must -- not may but must -- impose a minimum of ten years,” Justice Panton stated. With no exceptional circumstances in the case to allow him to waive the mandatory minimum, the judge handed down the 12 year sentence.
Although there was no evidence in the case that Brown had used the weapon or had any intention of using it in a crime, his previous conviction added to the already lengthy sentence. Police also found a mask and gloves in the apartment where he was staying in Marina Drive at the time of the search.
The court heard that Brown had first been incarcerated on a firearms possession case when he was only 17-years-old and had essentially spent his adult life in custody, having only been released shortly before the raid on his girlfriend’s apartment by officers acting on intelligence.
On 8 September last year officers from the RCIPS’ armed response unit, the Uniform Support Group, had searched the apartment and found the loaded semi-automatic Colt 45 weapon wrapped in a white t-shirt in the freezer draw of the refrigerator in the kitchen. The gun was later linked to Brown as a result of DNA evidence.
Brown denied possession of the firearm and six rounds of ammunition and as a result automatically faced the statutory minimum ten years jail time mandated in law for the offence.
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