“Oh gosh, oh my Lord,” were the first words from the lips of Richard Delisle Arthur when he heard from Justice Randall Worrell that he would spend just under two months in prison awaiting sentencing.
The 57-year-old marksman went into an emotional tailspin moments after Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale made a successful application for his seven-year bail to be revoked after the nine-member jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict in an ammunition case against him.
Seale’s application came after Arthur’s attorney Andrew Pilgrim, Q.C., requested that he remain on bail pending sentencing.
“In the circumstances of this particular convicted man and in light of the seven years spent on [bail] that he can remain on bail pending sentence on this matter . . . . There is no issue of flight risk,” Pilgrim stated as the Maynards, St Peter resident started to breathe through his mouth and shake following Seale’s objection.
Justice Randall Worrell then dismissed the jury at Pilgrim’s request and the two sides made further submissions regarding bail. But after mulling over the applications Justice Worrell ruled that Arthur be remanded to HMP Dodds until July 19 during which time a report would be prepared in time for sentencing.
It was at this point that Arthur became extremely distraught.
“Oh Lord, oh gosh, Oh Lord, oh gosh” Arthur could be heard saying as he put his hand to his face in disbelief, and in shaky voice gave the judge his details including age and address.
At one point it seemed that the newly-convicted man could no longer hold his weight and fell to his knees. He was able to hold onto his nephew’s waist, sobbing as he tried to come to grips with the situation. Policemen, court officials and his attorneys came to his assistance. Moments later he was escorted from the court by a prison officer without his jacket, his tie, keys, cellular phone and jewelry which he handed over to his nephew.
It was around 9:30 a.m. today that Justice Worrell began his summation of Arthur’s case during which the Crown called seven police witnesses to give evidence. Arthur also gave an unsworn statement.
A little over four hours later the jury left the No. 2 Supreme Court to deliberate returning in 40 minutes armed with the guilty verdict.
They found Arthur, who is the brother of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, guilty on a single charge of having 102 rounds of ammunition in his possession on January 31, 2012 without a valid licence.
According to evidence police visited Arthur’s residence, executed a search warrant and the assorted ammunition– cartridges comprising of .308 Winchester calibre; 7.62 calibre; 5.56mm calibre; .32 auto calibre; .22 magnum calibre; and .22 long rifle calibre ammunition – was found.
Evidence also showed that Arthur had three arms licences – a 9 mm STI pistol; a .40 STI pistol and .38 pistol – but he held no licences for the 102 rounds of ammunition found.
During a search of his bedroom a bag containing a number of boxes was found in a closet as well as a container containing rounds of ammunition while another three rounds were found in a container under a flight of stairs.
In his defence Arthur told the jury he was “one of the designated dealers on the dealership licence” of the Barbados Rifle Association since 2003 and a member since 1996.
“I have been responsible for firearms and ammunition. I am the armorer who repairs rifles and checks ammunition at the Barbados Rifle Association for the full-bore team,” the marksman said last week as he detailed his credentials to the court.
“I have never been involved in any criminal activities neither before nor since January 31, 2012 to present. I have been the holder of licences since 2003 to present,” he also said then.
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