Eight years ago, police mounted surveillance and executed a search warrant that led to the discovery of three firearms, including a silencer and over 50 rounds of ammunition stashed under a breadfruit tree at Gilkes Road, Benthams, St Lucy.
Today during a virtual sitting of the High Court Andre O’Bryan Yearwood, of Retreat Road, Connell Town, St Lucy took responsibility for the illegal weapons.
Before Justice Randall Worrell – and accompanied by his attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at – the now 39-year-old pool technician pleaded guilty to the January 6, 2013 charges of possession of a shotgun, possession of a 380 auto calibre pistol and possession of a silencer without having the valid licences as well as possession of 59 rounds of ammunition without having a valid permit.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale is representing the Crown in the case and gave the details of the offence.
Seale said during their surveillance lawmen intercepted a man, who later became Yearwood’s co-accused driving a vehicle. Nothing was found in the vehicle but investigations led them to the man’s residence where he took them to a breadfruit tree adjacent to his house. It was there that the guns, ammunition and a haversack were discovered. He then gave information which led to Yearwood and he was taken into custody and interviewed.
When told of his rights at an attorney, Yearwood replied, “I don’t need a lawyer to talk to you, go ahead.” They then told him about the items which were discovered.
“I want to go and show you where I stash and drop off them things you talking about,” he said before directing officers to Gilkes Road, Benthams, St Lucy. He pointed to an area and said: “That is where I drop off the shotgun and the haversack.”
Yearwood then directed police to Connell Town, St Lucy and pointed out a bushy area to the north of the playing field and said, “I had the shotgun and the haversack stash off here before I moved them Sunday night.”
He was taken back to the police station and on further questioning about the items he said, “I get caught up with that stash I was holding for Bells so I carry them by Bakawk.”
Yearwood also gave police a written statement detailing how he came in possession of the illegal weapons.
Today before the judge, Yearwood, a first-time offender, apologized for committing the four offences.
“I am very sorry for what I did at that time. I have matured a lot since then and at that time I was very frightened to say no when I get asked a question. At the time I was just frightened to say no just [a] two-letter word is what got me in this position right now and it is something that I would never ever think about doing again. But I apologise to the court and my family for making that bad decision at that time.
“That’s all I can say right now. It’s just a two-letter word that stop me from getting myself involved in this thing all I had to do is say no but I was afraid at that time,” Yearwood again stated.
His lawyer then requested a pre-sentencing report be prepared in preparation for sentencing.
The matter will continue before Justice Worrell on April 12.