Convicted gunman Germaine Antonio Harte has apologised to the court saying he was still “an asset” to society and should be given “a chance”.
The 34-year-old resident of Pleasant Hall Land, Edwards Gap, St Matthias, Christ Church who previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and five rounds of ammunition made the comment in the No. 5 Supreme Court this week as he issued his open apology.
“I would like to apologise to society, the court, police and my family who I have stressed. . . . my children who I have caused a lot of pressure. I apologise dearly,” the pastry chef told Madam Justice Pamela Beckles.
He went on the say that though he was remorseful for his actions he was also “thankful” for the experience.
“I had time to look within myself to see what direction I went wrong and where I am looking to go. The past cannot be replaced but the future can surely be changed. I ask that you give me this chance,” Harte said as he accepted “full responsibility” for his situation.
“It is without a doubt that I am an asset to this society even though I have fallen short
. . . without mistakes there is no such thing as learning. So being in a position where I have had a chance to have been burnt . . . I know I must surround myself with a certain type of people. Even though I have made a mistake
. . . it is what it is. It is a mistake and learning from the mistake is what will make me a better man,” he said from the dock.
According to the facts previously outlined in the High Court police detained Harte as a result of information received that he was in possession of the illegal weapon. He fully cooperated with lawmen and took them to the house where he had the “silver gun” stashed through a hole in the roof of a bedroom.
Harte’s attorney Safiya Moore mitigating on his behalf told the judge that her client was remorseful for his actions. She revealed that he had also indicated at an early stage that he wanted to plead guilty to the charge and had given a full confession to the police.
“He did not have any intentions to use the firearm for any criminal activity,” Moore said as she spoke on behalf of the father of two.
She however admitted that there were
also aggravating factors since the .32 revolver was loaded and he had no lawful reason to have it.
Pointing out that Harte had been on remand for almost four years she submitted, that “the length of time spent on remand reflects the sentence that should be spent in this matter”.
However, Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis highlighted what she described as a “significant” aggravating factor in Harte’s case that he “hid” this gun and such actions frustrate efforts by the police to get guns off the streets of Barbados. The prosecutor said that there were also several mitigating factors among them Harte’s cooperation with police and his guilty plea.
Davis submitted that Justice Beckles should consider a staring point of eight years in prison for the crime. She said the necessary deductions should be made including the one third discount for the guilty plea, leaving Harte with a period of 64 months in prison which “will reach the judgment of this case”.
Following the submissions Justice Beckles gave a July 19 date for Harte’s sentencing.