Charles Wendell Pile, of The Mount, St George, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to having two .32 revolvers and 16 bullets on September 27, 2013 when police executed a search warrant at his home.
Justice Alleyne found that Pile had already lost “time on remand, his job and status”. Therefore, he opined, no useful purpose would be served by “exacting further any penalty” from the former Central Bank of Barbados security chief.
Additionally, the judge noted, Pile is already voluntarily performing community service.
The sentence was handed down in the No. 4 Supreme Court this morning.
Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts, who presented the prosecution’s case, had outlined that when lawmen went to Pile’s residence, he directed them to a safe where they found the ammunition, for which he did not have a valid permit.
He had 66 bullets but, as the prosecutor explained, the law allows one to have a maximum of 50 bullets at any one time. Pile therefore had exceeded the lawful amount by 16.
According to the prosecutor, the security officer had also directed police to where he kept two revolvers which were not “currently licensed;” one belonged to himself for which he had not renewed the license since 2009; the other to his deceased aunt.
Handing down the sentence, Justice Alleyne stated that he considered Pile’s favourable presentencing report which “contains no negative features,” his remorse, and that he was considered as being at
a low-risk of reoffending.
Alleyne also referred to the testimony of character witnesses Mary Redman and Livingston Headley who, between them, described Pile as an honest, sincere, responsible, straightforward, no-nonsense man.
Further, Pile’s “national contribution to cycling”
was taken into consideration, along with the fact that
it was one of few occasions when “counsel on both sides of the adversarial divide” agreed that a guilty person be reprimanded and discharged.
In speaking to Pile, though, Justice Alleyne informed him that the offences were serious “and can attract a lengthy sentence” but even though that was so, “imprisonment is not automatic.”
Alleyne explained that he had a duty to “tier a sentence to ensure that the ends of justice are met
in each particular case.”
“In my view, you displayed ignorance in keeping the firearm which belonged to your aunt…and showed
a surprising lack of judgement in allowing your firearm
to go unlicensed for the length of time that you did.”
Part of the judge’s determination was influenced
by Pile’s “hitherto impeccable record” and there being no evidence that he had used the firearms or intended to do so “for nefarious purposes”.
Pile was represented by attorney-at-law Arthur Holder.