Commissioner of Police Renold Hadaway, a weapons expert, on Monday, admitted to the Serious Offences Court that a number he had quoted as the serial number for a weapon was, in fact, the model number.
The police chief said he had done having been misinformed by weapons expert, Sergeant Julian Cain, who had examined the weapon.
The weapon, a sub machine gun, is among a cache of guns and ammunition that police say were netted in a raid at Lowmans Bay on Jan. 18, 2017.
The find was made up of one Glock 9mm pistol, one .38 revolver, one submachine, a magazine of an AK-47, one round of 7.62 ammunition, one round of .38 ammunition, 42 rounds of 9mm ammunition, and 14 rounds of .40mm ammunition.
Lowmans Hill couple, Randy Shallow and Freikesha Douglas, is being tried on several counts of gun and ammunition possession in connection with the find.
At the last court appearance, the crown made an application for the serial number of the sub machine gun to be changed from “960217” to “S29343”.
Cain was the first witness to testify as the trial got underway before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Monday.
He told the court that the arresting officer, detective Police Constable Philbert Chambers, handed over the firearms and ammunition to him at his (Cain’s) office in Ottley Hall on Jan. 18, 2017.
He said he test fired all of the weapons and found them to be capable of discharging ammunition.
During cross-examination by defence counsel Grant Connell, Cain, who has been a firearms expert for 14 years, said he sometimes logs the exhibits brought to him for examination but could not recall if he logged those that Chambers brought on Jan. 18.
He, however, told the court that it would be the correct thing to log all entries.
The expert further went on to tell the court that what he gave Chambers as the serial number of the firearm, he later realised, was, in fact, the model number.
The sergeant said that he realised sometime later that he had made a mistake, but said he came to this realisation on his own and not after someone drew it to his attention.
Cain said he did not hand over the gun to any of his superiors and that he recorded the serial number at the point of examining the firearm.
He, said, however, that after giving it a second thought, he realised he had identified the model number as the serial number.
Cain, who had initially given investigators a written statement as part of his evidence, said that having realised his error, he didn’t see a need to write a second statement.
In his evidence, which came after Cain’s testimony, Hadaway said he knows the difference between a weapon’s serial and model number.
The police chief said he did not examine the weapons and had written in his statement the serial number quoted to him by Cain.
He said he could not recall if he read out the serial number at a press conference he held on the day that the weapons were seized.
The police chief said he did not ask for verification of the serial number because he had gotten it from a weapons expert.
Hadaway rejected a suggestion by Connell that the weapon before the court was not the same one he displayed at the press conference.
The trial continues on March 30.