Roland Omando Maloney broke down in tears in the High Court today, after he was freed of gun and ammunition charges.
It took the nine-member jury just an hour to return the unanimous not guilty verdict on both counts.
The 40-year-old, of Deighton, St Michael, had been accused of having a .32 revolver and six rounds of ammunition in his possession on November 13, 2002.
However, Maloney has maintained his innocence of the charges for the past 16 years.
Earlier this week, he gave an unsworn statement from the docks.
Maloney, who was represented by attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens, started off by saying that he had never been charged before the alleged offence.
He also pointed out that he had no other charges to his name and that at the time of the alleged offence, he was a second year student at the Barbados Community College (BCC) pursuing an associate degree in Psychiatric Nursing.
While at BCC, he was introduced to police officer Jimmy Thorne as someone who could get him employment in the security field, as he needed the extra income to support his family, Maloney testified.
And on the aforementioned date, Maloney said he had picked up Thorne in St John after borrowing the car of his fellow classmate and work colleague Gregory Payne.
He and Thorne then ventured to St George for a possible job, but the position was no longer available. Thorne then asked him to stop off by a minimart in Newbury in order for him to purchase an item.
“When we get to the minimart, police officer Jimmy Thorne reached into his pocket, took out some money and also his firearm and placed it by the handbrake between the front passenger seat and the driver seat.
“I was not alarmed. I was not concerned because he is a police officer,” Maloney told the jury.
He said Thorne then got out of the car and walked across the road to the shop just as the police approached him and asked him about the firearm which was “clearly visible” by the handbrake.
Maloney said he explained the situation to the police, but “they just ignored me”.
At that point, he was placed in a police vehicle and “speedily” taken to Central Police Station.
“On my way going down to the police station I told them over and over that the firearm belonged to Mr Jimmy Thorne who is a police officer that just got out of my vehicle . . . crossed in front of their police vehicle . . . and into the minimart.
“I told them over and over. They ignored me,” Maloney said.
The jury believed him.
“You are free to go Mr Maloney,” Justice Randall Worrell told him after the verdict was read.
With both hands covering his face, Maloney, choking back tears, managed to say “thank you” before walking out of the No.2 Supreme Court sobbing.
The case was prosecuted by Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas.