Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on Friday said that she agreed with the prosecution that convicted gunman Colin “Cocoa” David should be sent to the High Court for sentencing for gun and ammunition possession.
Browne-Matthias had one day earlier handed down a guilty verdict on the 29-year-old Long Wall resident, who was charged that on May 5 at Kingstown, he had in his possession, one 9mm pistol and 36 rounds of 9mm ammunition, without a license issued under the Firearm Act.
The Serious Offences Court can impose a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and a fine of EC$20,000, or both.
At the High Court, David can be sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison.
The magistrate announced her verdict two weeks after hearing closing arguments from Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche and defence counsel Grant Connell in the case in which David did not take the stand in his own defence.
After the verdict on Thursday, Delplesche told the court that his application was based on the aggravating features of the case.
“The grounds for the application by the prosecution, your honour, given the aggravating features in this matter: the evidence came out that the defendant was wearing a glove, he was masked, sitting in a vehicle with a driver at the driver’s seat and the engine running, the vehicle was carrying a false number plate. Those, I submit, your honour, are grave aggravating features,” the prosecutor told the court.
“Two magazines, each loaded with 15 rounds of live ammunition. I humbly submit to this court, your honour, that given the gravity and the graveness of these aggravating features that these matters be sent to the high court for sentencing,” Delplesche further said.
Connell had opposed the application, noting that his client was tried summarily after being on remand for nine months awaiting a preliminary inquiry into the same matter.
“And now they wish to use the same law as a boomerang, as a prosecution boomerang. They fling it, and they know it coming back, they just duck and it, chop off the defendant’s neck. That cannot be right… That is legal gymnastics to the detriment of the defendant. You cannot entertain it,” Connell had said.
He had also told the court that the only thing grave about the prosecution’s application “is that justice will go to the grave if it is entertained”.
David was arrested by Station Sergeant of Police, Dwayne Bailey, who acting on information, had led a team of officers from a tactical unit to an area in Kingstown, where they met David, Gershon Calvin Cole-Woods, a 37-year-old farmer of Belair, and Cole-Woods’ cousin, Junior Woods in a vehicle.
The vehicle bore the registration number PK581, which turned out to be a false registration plate.
Cole-Woods and Woods, who are cousins, were sitting in the front of the vehicle, with Junior in the driver seat, and David in the back.
Police have also alleged that Cole-Woods had in his possession one .38 revolver and 15 rounds of .38 ammunition without a license issued under the Firearm Act and brought a charge against him.
However, Cole-Woods disappeared in September while on EC$50,000 bail and his relatives say that they believe he was killed.
The prosecution’s case, further, is that police drew their weapons and a hand wearing a black glove, threw a firearm from the rear door of the car.
David was the only occupant of the car found to be wearing a glove.
While this is David’s first conviction, he is no stranger to the law, having beat two murder charges.
He is also awaiting trial on another unlawful possession of gun and ammunition charge.
David is among three persons awaiting the commencement of a preliminary inquiry into the Oct. 15 attempted murder of Paul’s Avenue resident, Jawansa “Sanga” Fraser, who was shot in that community.
Ricardo “Shrek” McFee of Largo Height and Jomarno “Small Man” Tash of Rockies have also been charged with that offence.