The fact that two .45 calibre pistols are off the streets of Barbados is good news, a High Court judge declared as he imposed $20,000 fines each on the young men in whose possession the weapons were found.
Justice Randall Worrell said he did not believe the stories given by Adeem Antone Millington, of Ashby Land, Oistins, Christ Church and Dario David Cox, of Lodge Road, Christ Church about finding the weapons.
He gave the youngsters 12 months each to pay $15,000 with respects to their individual illegal firearm charge and $5,000 for having ammunition.
If the duo, who had already spent two years on remand, fails to settle the amount they will spend two years in prison.
Millington, of Ashby Land, Oistins previously admitted to having an unlicensed .45 calibre pistol on April 20, 2019, and six .45 cartridges.
Cox, of Lodge Road, took responsibility for having an illegal .45 calibre pistol on the same day and possession of 10 rounds of .45 ammunition.
They were in a vehicle when they were stopped by police and the weapons were found, the No. 2 Supreme Court heard.
Millington had his gun stashed somewhere but in deciding to go to cockfighting, he retrieved his firearm and took it with him while Cox went and got his from his bedroom.
The judge said: “You know that it is wrong to have a firearm and yet you have it in your bedroom. Millington is going to watch cockfighting and he too takes a firearm whether it is to sell or to protect himself. They are both armed with illegal firearms… These are persons who know exactly what it means to have an illegal firearm.
“Both indicated that they found the firearms the Court does not believe that but it is not going to hold that against them.
Strange enough they found two firearms and they are of the same calibre.”
But Justice Worrell said the fact they kept the weapons “clearly shows that you had some intention whether it is to sell in relation to Cox or whether it is to protect yourself or know that bad things happen at cockfighting and you hold on to it, whatever the intention is, there must be some lurked intention in the back of somebody’s mind”.
The judge took note of their cooperation with police during the investigation, that the firearms were not used, that they had previous clean records, and both firearms and ammunition were recovered and no longer at large.
But Justice Worrell said given the seriousness of the offences, a starting point of seven years in prison would suffice for both young men.
A one-year deduction was allotted given the mitigating factors with a further reduction by one-third for their guilty pleas and for time spent on remand. Having spent two years in prison awaiting their fate, the high court judge determined that a fine would be imposed.
Cox and Millington were ordered to pay the fine or spend two years in prison.
Both men also gave the undertaking that they will repay their family members and friends who help pay the fine.