KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent:- The Chief Magistrate on Wednesday found an opposition candidate for the next general elections not guilty of an ammunition possession charge.
Cameron ‘Dinky’ Balcombe, the New Democratic Party’s candidate against Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in North Central Windward, was charged with illegal possession of 13 rounds of .22 ammunition without a license on June 18.
But Chief Magistrate Sonya Young found him not guilty after a trial which began at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on July 23.
The 33-year-old politician, who failed to defeat Dr. Gonsalves in the 2005 general election, and his father Alison Balcombe were initially jointly charged with having the 13 rounds of .22 ammunition and two rounds of 12-guage shotgun ammunition without licences.
The shotgun ammunition charge against the politician was withdrawn when he and his father first appeared in court on June 19.
The older Balcombe pleaded guilty to that charge and was fined and paid EC$600 (US$222).
However, the charge of possessing the .22 ammunition against the older Balcombe was dismissed on July 23.
The Chief Magistrate on that day upheld a no case submission by lawyer Dr. Linton Lewis, who is also an NDP candidate in the next elections.
Defence witness Robert Williams, a retired Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force and owner of a licensed.22 pistol and a rifle, told the court that the ammunition was his.
He said he had gone hunting with the politician and had misplaced some ammunition about two weeks before the police found the bullets in a shoe-shaped ornament in the politician’s bedroom on June 18.