David Wayne Harper was walking through a track near Ellerton Pasture in St George when he found a loaded firearm and decided to keep it in May three years ago.
On May 26, 2017 the vehicle in which the Bibby’s Lane, St Michael resident was travelling was stopped by police doing traffic checks along Jack-in-the-Box Gully. His actions during that time caused lawmen to become suspicious and a search was conducted with his consent. A silver and black 9mm semi automatic pistol along with several paint brushes were found in a haversack.
“The gun is mine I find it,” he said when asked to account. A further check discovered that the gun was equipped with a magazine containing seven rounds of ammunition. Harper was taken to the Holetown Police Station where he was told of his rights to an attorney.
“No I don’t want a lawyer. When I go court I will get one,” he told police then.
Today Harper’s case was heard via Zoom with Justice Randall Worrell presiding from the No. 2 Supreme Court. From his location at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds he pleaded guilty to the two-count indictment.
Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas detailed the facts while his attorney-at-law Sian Lange listened in.
The prosecutor said when police questioned Harper about the illegal gun and ammunition he told them he was not in possession of a licence nor a permit for the items. “No officer I don’t. I know it is an offence to got them.”
Harper, a painter, who was 46 years old at the time, also gave police a statement.
He disclosed that he was at a shop lime in Ellerton “some time” in the beginning of May 2017 around 4 p.m. He subsequently left, and while passing through a track saw, “this thing” shining on the ground.
“I see it was a gun and I took it up and went home,” he said.
Harper said he stashed the weapon in the back of his residence for a few days but eventually removed it and placed it in his bag because it began to rain.
On May 26 he decided to go job hunting, took up the bag, and while going through Jack-in-the-Box Gully he was held with the firearm.
On his arrest he told police he did not tell anyone about the gun because “I don’t deal with no one like that.”
He said he did not report his find to the police. “I was scared I would get charged. I duh plan to keep it.”
He was taken back to the Ellerton were he pointed out the area where he found the gun.
Lawyers for the prosecution and defence will put forward mitigating submissions in the case of the first-time offender, on Wednesday, May 27.
The time he has spent on remand in connection with the two charges will also be read by a prison officer on that day.
A pre-sentencing report has already been complied on him.
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.