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The accused, Collin "Cocoa" David. (File photo)
The accused, Collin “Cocoa” David. (File photo)
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The Fair Hall man who police met last May wearing a mask in a car in Kingstown with a gun, two magazines, and 36 rounds of ammunition, was on Tuesday sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his crimes.

Colin “Cocoa” David, 31, will, however, only serve a five-year jail term, the longest of his prison sentences, which will run concurrently.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias handed down the sentences three months after finding David guilty of charges that on May 5, 2017, 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 man was initially sent to the High Court for sentencing, where he would have faced a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

But the High Court reverted the matter to the lower court, where the maximum sentence is seven years in prison and a fine of EC$20,000.

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In mitigation, defence counsel Grant Connell told the court that his client is the father of two children and is a virgin to the law.

After the court pointed out that David does have a criminal record, Connell later amended that submission to say that David had no convictions of a similar nature.

The lawyer said that at the time of his arrest, David did not resist arrest or attempt to abscond.

Connell told the court that while his client had exercised his right to a full trial, thereby forfeiting the one-third automatic reduction in any sentence given to someone who pleads guilty, he was throwing himself at the mercy of the court and asking for leniency.

The lawyer said that in the case of Randy Shallow and Freikesha Douglas, who were convicted last year of possession of a number of firearms, including a prohibited weapon, the defendants were sentenced to five years in prison for a weapon of a similar type as David had.

He asked the court to be mindful of that sentence, unless the magistrate was minded to explore the avenues of the law and impose a fine.

Connell said there were no aggravating features in the case and suggested that his client should not a get a sentence longer than four years in prison.

Meanwhile, in his submissions on sentencing, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche cited the comments of the Court of Appeal this year regarding the pervasiveness of firearms and firearm-related crimes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He further told the court that he disagrees with the defence counsel who had said that there were no aggravating features in the case.

Delplesche noted that David was among three other persons in a car parked in Kingstown with a false number plate, the engine running, and a driver at the wheel.

“Why?” the prosecutor asked as he mentioned each of those facts.

He pointed out that the car was parked in “the heart of Kingstown” at “high day time”. The prosecutor further observed that David had a firearm containing 15 rounds of ammunition and also asked why was this the case.

“All these, I submit, your honour, are grave aggravating factors,” he said, adding that this is what the Court of Appeal was speaking about when it said that there are too many gun crimes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He said that in light of the law that he had outlined and the precedent set by the Court of Appeal, it was then within the magistrate’s purview to impose a sentence that she thought appropriate.

The chief magistrate sentenced David to five years for possession of the firearm and two and a half years for the ammunition.

The sentences were handed down on a day when the prosecution removed from the court’s list a matter in which Gershon Calvin Cole-Woods was a defendant.

Cole-Woods was one of the other two persons in the car in which David was nabbed last May.

A firearm and ammunition charge was brought against him, but Cole-Woods has been unaccounted for since last August 2017.

His relatives have expressed fears that he was killed.

Also on Tuesday, David was among three persons discharged at the preliminary inquiry stage on a charge of attempted murder of Jawansa “Sanga” Fraser who was shot in his neighbourhood of Paul’s Avenue last October.

The accused were discharged after Fraser failed to turn up to court for yet another time.

10 replies on “Colin David jailed for gun, ammo”

  1. Coco get away big time, there seems to be something fishy here. How did lawyer Connelly knew that Jawanza Fraser would not have turned up for the case of attempted murder in b advance yesterday? . He told the court that he would not show up. So said that done. Was this am implied agreement between former buddies that is Fraser and Cocoa to derail the Coudersport of Justice? When you add up the fact that the other alleged accomplice Cole -Woods it would appear that there may be some invisible hand it he matter.

  2. Why is It that every case involving guns the alleged posession of unlicenced guns in St Vincent one lawyer has a monoply on defending these people? Vincy lawyer I appreciate your comment on my obervation.

    1. I will opine that accused persons trust this lawyer’s judgment in preparing and executing their defence in matters of this nature. Most lawyers have specialized areas of law, whether it be by advanced training or habitual practice.

      In this case, I will opine that Mr. Connell has well established himself as a criminal defence Attorney. He is doing his job and based on your observation, he may be deemed to be doing this job so well, that he is continuously retained.

      I have no qualms with my learned colleague defending charges of this nature, as every accused must be given an opportunity to defend the charges laid against him/her.

      Mr. Connell’s “monopoly” should be a wake up call to other lawyers to step their game up if they want a “piece of the proverbial pie.” I had my fair share of criminal matters but have since stepped away from criminal proceedings for a variety of reasons. Other Attorneys may have their own reasons for not pursuing criminal matters.

      Thus, we shouldn’t blame learned counsel for his passion in these matters 🙂

  3. Some of these so called lawyers are just as responsible for the crime situation in St Vincent as the criminals. Its sometimes hard to tell them apart. Collin David ,a virgin to the law? Ha! Grant Connell you are truely a piece of work.

  4. Well said BIG YOUTH
    Connell know what you are doing because the table could turn ,why are you defending all these cold blooded killers.

  5. Amos Greaves. says:

    The definition of a virgin is not one who engaged in sexual activities and never get pregnant is akin to Coco Brown being a virgin to the law. It’s a senseless analogy for someone who professes to be a trained lawyer.

  6. These lawyers in St Vincent behave like a big fish in a small pond. Thus they can only flex their muscle because of a limitation in space.

  7. Curiousit kills the cat says:

    Just curious, when guys like Coco Brown and the likes of the others who are sentence to prison terms, are they required to work or just sit in prison eat an get fat in St Vincent? If they are also sentence to hard labour can they refused to work and if they do, how does the authority deal with that? Any person out there who is knowledgeable about the questions or subject? Are meal prepared on site or are catered by the government? Just want to know. How about opportunities to learn a SC kill before they are released back into the community?

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