Shopkeeper fined for firearm

COURT TODAY BLOCK“Never in my wildest dreams I thought I would have a firearm. But when your back is against the wall and things not going for you, you sometimes do things you wouldn’t want to do.”

Those were the words of a shopkeeper who said he acquired a gun after his shop was broken into several times, his girlfriend shot on one of those occasions and his son’s life placed in danger.

Anderson Ricardo Bispham was eventually fined $7 500 for having the gun. If the fine is not paid by the end of six months, the Leinster Road, Waterford, St Michael resident will be jailed for 18 months.

Police found the gun on January 12, 2009 when they executed a search warrant at Bispham’s home.

The convicted man later expressed regret for having the weapon and asked the court for the opportunity to allow him to continue raising his son who lives with him, operating his shop and to complete the building of his home.

The 49-year-old also openly thanked Jesus Christ for sparing his life, saying he could have been, “dead, rotten and forgotten”.

In mitigating on Bispham’s behalf before Justice Randall Worrell in Supreme Court No. 2, attorney-at-law Desmond Sands told the court that Bispham bought the gun to protect his family. He remarked that his client felt helpless after his former girlfriend was shot and he had to push his son through a window to avoid him being hurt as well.

Sands said Bispham ran a thriving shop and was a single father for the most part, who had a very settled relationship with his son. He described Bispham as “a man who clearly deserves a chance”, especially in light of his good presentencing report.

6 Responses to Shopkeeper fined for firearm

  1. jr smith April 3, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Well he seems not to have friends in the right places.Thats Barbados.

    • bajan marksman April 3, 2015 at 6:27 am

      Why such a comment?

  2. Ralph Talma April 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I am sorry to read the outcome of this 7 year investigation and trial. The shop-keeper had tremendous mitigating factors (it seems) in his favour. Did His Honour take these into consideration when arriving at his sentence, considering the crimes and sentences taking place in B`dos at this time; coupled with the fact that this seems to be a first offender. I am sorry for the shop-keeper and recommend that all those in similar careers apple to the Government for a licence. After all your home/business is your castle, and I thought under common law you were allowed to defend it!!!!!!

  3. Tony Waterman April 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    @Ralph Talma!!!! Unlike you who seems to want to “Eat your cake and have it too”, i Totally agree with Justice Randall Worrell, and in my opinion he should have been Fined and Jailed, Reclaiming Barbados from Gun Happy People MUST Start somewhere, he could have made Multiple Official Complaints, which would have served him well when he applied for a Gun Licence, i have a friend who has a shop in Carrington Village who went through the same thing, and he was given a Licence when he applied. I DON”T feel sorry for this Guy, the Buck MUST stop somewhere. BTW the sentence for that Crime as a first Offender Should be FIVE Years. and $7,500.00. there shod not be any Discounts for Gun Crimes.

  4. Clarence Edwards April 3, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    There is an old Indian saying:
    O Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked two weeks in his moccasins.

    It is all well and good for persons like Tony Waterman to pass blind judgement on someone else but until you wear the shoe, only you alone can describe the pain. I am not trying to defend the indefensible; all I am saying is that this whole matter of punishment for individuals caught with illegal firearms need to be put in sharper focus and mercy tendered in such situations such as this one.

    Fact #1: the police are incapable of adequately protecting the citizens simply because they are usually absent when gun-toting criminals show up at your house or business establishment.

    Fact #2: the criminals and the criminally-minded seem to have a never-ending supply of these illegal weapons. Funny enough, in a small country like Barbados where every one seems to know each other’s business, these so-called illegal gun dealers are apparently never apprehended.

    Fact #3: the only two reasons I can think of for acquiring guns legally is for the police to be aware of all the armed persons in the society and the revenue government will garner from the payment of fees for such licences.

    Unfortunately, as I alluded to previously, there is a cadre of persons who thrive from the illegal sales of these weapons and apparently, nothing is being done to apprehend these individuals. So here we are punishing the small fish while the bigger fish goes unpunished. Ditto the illegal drugs trade. Something seems to be wrong with that equation. I rest my case.

  5. Tony Waterman April 6, 2015 at 3:21 am

    @Clarence Edwards!!!! There is no doubt in my mind as to why Barbados has a Proliferation of GUNS and GUN Crimes, simply put it is because of Weasels like you, who is asking ME to walk in Anderson Ricardo Bispham’s Shoes, WHY ?? He is an ADULT and as a Seemingly Successful Businessman, i will assume that he knew RIGHT from WRONG, i am quite sure that he was aware at the time that he was sourcing that ILLEGAL weapon, that he was doing WRONG, THere is absolutely nothing BLIND about what i wrote, the facts speak for themselves, AND I AM DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO WALK AN INCH IN HIS SHOES. we are now one less GUN on the Streets.


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