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Two years for gun and ammo possession

courtA St Thomas man has been slapped with a two-year prison term for firearm and ammunition possession.

However, because he has already spent 415 days on remand, Dwayne Marlon Alexion Drakes, of Kewland, Redman’s Village, will spend less than a year – 315 days to be exact – in prison.

Drakes, who was 24 years old at the time, was charged with having a shotgun and a shotgun cartridge without a valid licence on April 4, 2009.

Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius described Drakes’ possession of a firearm and ammunition as very serious and “certainly cause for concern.”

“You were in possession of a shotgun and ammunition. You ran away to avoid apprehension and when you were apprehended you ended up in a scuffle with officers. You then escaped from police custody and had to be recaptured,” the judge said, adding that while Drakes pleaded guilty to the offences that was not done in the early stages.

She also pointed out that Drakes’ probation report was “not altogether favourable” and it suggested that he posed a “medium to high risk of re-offending”.

However, Justice Cornelius noted that this was Drakes’ first offence and during his lengthy bail release, he had maintained a clean record.

“I consider that you have shown some level of remorse and that there is no indication of violence,” the judge said.

However, she did not agree with Drakes’ attorney Vonda Pile that he should get the benefit of time served as his sentence.

“A firearm offence . . . is a very serious offence and the court takes it very seriously and cannot, in all the circumstances, . . . grant simply time served,” the judge ruled.

She also addressed the delay in having the case heard.

Justice Cornelius said that while the Crown had sought assiduously to have the matter brought up before the High Court for hearing, it was unable to do so on many occasions because of Drakes’ frequent submission of medical certificates.

“The delay in this matter was largely due to your inability to present yourself for trial and not because the Crown was in any way delinquent in bringing this matter up for trial,” the judge noted.

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