“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.