No ordinary gun case

Gun dealer goes Free on gun and ammo charges

A gun dealer who was slapped with charges five years ago after police found guns and ammunition at an authorized location, was granted an absolute discharge by a High Court judge today.

Former president of the Barbados Rifle Association, Michael Ian Holder, of Moravian Drive, Fairholme Gardens, Christ Church pleaded guilty on March 17 to having 19 firearms, including pistols and revolvers, as well as 4,527 rounds of assorted ammunition in his possession on January 31, 2012.

The items were found after police executed a search warrant at an apartment which Holder was renting in Hothersal Turning, St Michael.

However, even though he was the holder of a valid firearms dealer licence, the guns and ammo were not at the location in which he was granted permission to conduct business.

Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius pointed out in her ruling today that the charge came about when Holder moved the guns and ammunition from the approved location without first getting written permission from the Commissioner of Police, as stated in Section 8 (4) of the Firearms Act.

In a previous hearing, Holder apologized for his actions and explained that at no point in time was it his intent to break the law.

His attorney-at-law Leslie Cargill, in mitigating on his behalf, also explained that her client cooperated fully with the police and had taken steps to ensure that the guns and ammunition were properly secured.

Cargill also pointed out that her client, who has no previous convictions, had spent three weeks on remand and that the charges had damaged his reputation and embarrassed his family.

Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts who prosecuted the case said that charges against Holder were “not the ordinary case of possession of a firearm” and stemmed from “an administrative breach more than a criminal one”.

However, in handing down her sentence in the No. 5 Supreme Court this afternoon, Justice Cornelius made it clear that the court “does not treat lightly the infraction of any condition imposed under . . . licences granted to persons”.

At the same time, she acknowledged that the case was one in which Holder failed to follow an administrative direction.

“While you were charged and pleaded guilty to offences of possession of firearm and ammunition, you are in fact guilty of committing a separate infraction, which is storing the firearms some place [that was not permitted] under your firearms licence. This is a separate violation under the Act altogether, which the requisite powers must deal with to reflect . . . the appropriate punishment for these violations,” she said.

Justice Cornelius also made it clear to Holder, those present at today’s sitting and the public generally, that there was not one law for the Medes and another for the Persians.

“. . . It is not to be thought that persons who come before the court for possession of firearm and ammunition or breaches of conditions of licences granted under the Firearms Act will get off scot-free, but each case will be decided on its merit . . .,” the judge stressed.

To Holder, she said: “In relation to your case, the court does not consider that a custodial sentence is merited, nor does it find it fit to impose punishment upon you based on the particular circumstances of this case
. . . . You are free to go.”

21 Responses to No ordinary gun case

  1. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen May 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I bet this is a white man.

    Reply
    • Ejd May 25, 2017 at 7:04 am

      Oh come on! Why bring colour into this? Justice was done.

      Reply
    • Ryan Gaskin
      Ryan Gaskin May 25, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Nope black like tar

      Reply
    • BRAD May 26, 2017 at 8:33 am

      IGNORANT YOU ARE!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  2. James Amlighty
    James Amlighty May 25, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Another waste of tax payers money…

    Reply
  3. orville carter May 25, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Still in barbados there is a Them and Us attitude .So very very sad.

    Reply
  4. DE May 25, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Well! Well! Well! only for certain people in this society. After officers work so hard to carry their duties, these are the kind of rewards they get for their success. No wonder why the Royal Barbados Police men and women are so frustrated and seek to get out of the force at the earliest opportunity.

    Reply
  5. James Amlighty
    James Amlighty May 25, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Why is it necessary to bring skin colour into this?… our laws are antiquated and law officials lack initiative.. and NO he’s not WHITE he’s as BLACK as I am… let’s not create unnecessary problems…

    Reply
  6. hcalndre May 25, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Whether black or white, this is not a person looking to rob or kill anyone, even the scamps that have no licenses to carry a weapon are not separately charge for the gun in connection with the crime, if so the sentences would start at 10 years at least, look at all the shootings and see what time these perpetrators receive, no more than a slap on the wrist.

    Reply
  7. Alex Alleyne May 25, 2017 at 7:28 am

    “That there was not one law for the Medes and another for the Persians”………(Yeah right) ” YOU ARE FREE TO GO”.
    Does he still have his gun Licence ?????????.

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth246 May 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Read the facts and also note the the man spent three weeks in jail!!
    Why does color have to come into everything????
    And if I remember correctly from when he was arrested , he is of the black race.
    If we love Bim we have to take color out of everything!!!
    Opportunities are there for everyone but we do not make the most of ours or help one another to succeed
    The judge is not only black but she is a woman!!!
    How’s dat!!!

    Reply
  9. Alex Alleyne May 25, 2017 at 7:39 am

    WERE ANY OF THOSE GUNS TESTED TO SEE HOW MANY WERE FIRED ??????
    “No ordinary Gun case”, I take it that the Police leave the court fuming.

    Reply
  10. Bajan First May 25, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Why should they! I’m missing something here! The offense committed was that of having the items in a location other than that for which permission was granted. Are you going to send him back to prison again! He had already spent three weeks on remand, not to to mention all the fallout from the bad publicity which the case generated. Give me a break!

    Reply
  11. Johnathan May 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    It is not a white man and I think Madame justice not only ruled according to law which came first but also according to life. She was fair in discharging a man who was humiliated for just storing the guns he was lawfully authorized to carry at the wrong place. Sure not the same as these thugs walking around with high powered unlawful firearms killing each other.

    Reply
  12. Vincent Smith May 25, 2017 at 9:48 am

    what are we saying about our judicial system? after officers work so hard… hard to do what?? charge someone wrongfully? if there were no courts what would happen to some people? is everyone that goes to court guilty..give me a break. the ultimate wasters of tax payers money are those persons who foolishly charge people with folly and magistrates who would not throw out cases which are in the system for over 5 years. This man did not kill anyone, he was not selling guns or ammunition to bad boys, why was he handled in this way. go ask where is the missing money from oistins police station, where are the missing exhibits from some cases, why are persons going to prison for cursing and Z.R drivers do ignorance on the road each day and are allowed to keep driving

    Reply
  13. Alex Alleyne May 25, 2017 at 10:17 am

    May be it is because the same “thugs” were not wanted to be seen at his elite neighbourhood for his nice neighbours will complain about the high volume of customers so he move the hardware to an area where business was much easier to conduct.
    JUST SAYING………

    Reply
    • Rev. Winston Jones May 25, 2017 at 10:28 am

      You do realise the absurdity of your statement right? You do not appear to understand the strict requirements for operating the business he operated. If he has paid such a high price for just storing the weapons some place other than he was supposed to store them, do you think he could sell one without a paper trail? You are seriously shallow if you purport and believe the things you have written.

      Reply
  14. Adrian May 25, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Don’t worry Rev Winston Jones you backing a dead horse. The judge give him enough rope to hang his self he is going to get caught again.

    Reply
  15. smiles May 25, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Justice was served, we blacks commit offences and then talk about the poor black man. The police knew he was a dealer and had a valid dealers firearm licence. they knew that the only offence was that he did not have them at the specified location. they did not work hard to bring a man to justice, they knew that he was no longer living at the approved location and sought to arrest and charge him. the question is WHY WHY WHY. it was not like he committed an offence and a warrant was executed. We always try to shame our own for our own selfish gains. I bet there is a lot of history behind all of this. Go Sir and continue to be the model citizen you are.

    Reply
  16. tsquires May 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    @Jonathan As a former policeman. I am in agreement with you it has absolutely nothing to do with colour, as the charge was not laid correctly which Madame Justice pointed out; let us not create shadows unnecessarily; as there is more in the mortar besides the pestle?

    Reply
  17. DE May 25, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Am I to believed that this Madam Justice is making conflicting statement.

    “While you were charged and pleaded guilty to offences of possession of firearm and ammunition, you are in fact guilty of committing a separate infraction, which is storing the firearms some place [that was not permitted] under your firearms licence. This is a separate violation under the Act altogether, which the requisite powers must deal with to reflect . . . the appropriate punishment for these violations,” she said.

    It is not to be thought that persons who come before the court for possession of firearm and ammunition or breaches of conditions of licences granted under the Firearms Act will get off scot-free, but each case will be decided on its merit . . .,” the judge stressed.

    Reply

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