A Barrouallie man who was nabbed in Glen, on Tuesday, with a loaded gun told the court that his life is in danger and he cannot depend on the police to protect him.
“I know people after me and I can’t depend on police alone, so I going to protect myself,” Zouck Mills, 25, told the Serious Offences Court on Thursday.
“It ain’t nowhere I could go without getting terrorise. Police like them fraid the men them too. I can’t carry cutlass in gun war,” he further said.
He told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne that he knows that the court does not usually impose fines for firearm offences.
“I ain’t feel jail is the fittest place for me. I have a youth coming. I have a family now. I have to defend myself. Police not doing enough to solve crimes out dey,” he said.
Mills told the court that in 2019 he was a vendor selling arts and crafts and a bunch of guys robbed him, and he ended up in hospital.
He said he made a report to the station but the police never checked “the five main men”.
Mills’ name was among those mentioned in voice notes of men threatening to kill each other and avenge the death of Isiah Carter, 19, of Ottley Hall, who was gunned down in his home village on Saturday.
He will spend the next 42 months in prison after being nabbed with a revolver and six rounds of ammunition in Glen on Tuesday.
On Thursday, Mills pleaded guilty to a charge that on Sept. 7, at Glen, he had in his possession one .38 Smith and Wesson revolver, serial number unknown, without a licence issued under the Firearms Act.
He pleaded similarly to a charge that on Sept. 7, at Glen, he had in his possession six rounds of .38 ammunition without a license.
Mills was not required to plead to the indictable charge that on Aug. 3, at Vermont, being armed with a gun, he robbed Carlos Charles, of Vermont, of five pounds of medical marijuana, valued at EC$10,000 and at the time of doing so and in order to do so put Charles in fear of being there and then subjected to force.
Mills was also charged on indictment that on Aug. 30, at Vermont, he assaulted Rudolph Finch, of Vermont, with intent to commit an offence, to wit bodily harm.
The magistrate pointed out to Mills that the maximum penalty for possession of an unlicensed firearm is a fine of EC$20,000 or seven years imprisonment or both.
“Sometimes, rest and reflection is good,” Browne told the defendant, adding, “The absence from action and a peace of mind is also good.”
But Mills noted that he had been to prison before. “I saw things in prison,” he said.
“Evil communication corrupts good manners. Action has consequences,” the chief magistrate responded.
On the firearm charge, the chief magistrate established a starting point of 50% of the maximum, or 3.5 years.
She said that the possession of the firearm and ammunition was motivated by revenge and this was an aggravating feature of the offences.
Also aggravating was the fact that the offences were committed in the night and in an area that was not well lit, along a lonely section of the road.
The chief magistrate also said there was a group of people involved and also noted how Mills was dressed — in a black hoodie and camouflage pants.
She said there seems to have been some level of planning.
The court concluded that the aggravating features outweighed the mitigating and added 12 months to the starting sentence.
Aggravating for the offender was the fact that he had previous convictions, though not of a similar nature.
The court, however, noted that the defendant had displayed no remorse
The court concluded that the aggravating features of the offender outweigh the mitigating and added seven months to the sentence.
The court applied a one-third discount on the sentence for the earlier guilty plea, which saw it reduced by one year and six months.
Mills was sentenced to 42 months for possession of the firearm and 10 months for the ammunition. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The court ordered confiscation of the firearm and informed Mills of his right to appeal.
After handing down the sentence, the chief magistrate told Mills:
“I want you to get engaged in activities that will improve your skill set at Her Majesty’s Prisons. I would love to see you live to see the three scores and 10 that was promised. I would hate for your life to be cut short. Read, reflect and learn as much as you can. You have a responsibility upon release to be a model parent.”
The facts of the matter are that on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 9:45 p.m., Police Sergeant 632 Morris headed a party of officers from the Rapid Response Union (RRU) on mobile patrol in Glen.
While patrolling, the officer signalled motor vehicle PH895, a green Ceres, which was travelling in the opposite direction to stop.
The driver complied and the police noticed the driver and three other occupants in the vehicles.
The sergeant identified himself and his party as officers dressed in RRU uniform and told them of their duties and inquired as to their identity.
Morris told them that he would like to conduct a search of the persons and the vehicle and ordered them to exit the vehicle, which they did.
Morris along with Police Constable 1033 Hadaway, who was also a member of the party, began to search the vehicle in the presence of the occupants.
Morris opened the left door of the vehicle and saw what appeared to be a firearm on the floor.
He picked up the firearm, checked and cleared it and found it to be loaded with six rounds of ammunition.
The sergeant pointed out the offence of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition to the occupants and cautioned them.
Mills responded, “Ah mine. Alyo win. Man out there want to kill we.”
The sergeant informed all the occupants of the vehicle that they would be arrested on suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
He took the men along with the firearm and ammunition to the Central Police Station.
Station Sergeant Cain, a gazette ballistics expert examined the firearm and found it to be in good working order.
Morris checked at the Firearms Registry and Training Office and found that the defendant does not have a permit to hold firearm or ammunition.
Mills was arrested and charged.