People walking around with illegal firearms in Barbados have again been put on notice by a High Court judge.
“Time is coming very shortly . . . after we clear up this backlog, there is going to be a lot of weight on gunmen,” Justice Carlisle Greaves warned on Friday as he sentenced a man who had been on remand at HMP Dodds for the last three years on firearm and ammunition charges.
Michael Antonio Eric Trotman, of Pasture Road, Bank Hall, St Michael was allowed to go home after he was sentenced to time served, for having a .22 LR caliber revolver and 11 rounds of ammunition in his possession on October 6, 2018.
He was found with the gun near a bar in St George. Police discovered it in the waist of his pants after he consented to a search. On questioning, Trotman told lawmen, “I get that gun from Gunnie. He give it to me last night”.
Senior Crown Counsel Rudolph Burnett and defence attorney Arthur Holder had agreed that Trotman be sentenced to time served.
Burnett suggested a starting sentence of six years in jail, minus a one-third discount for Trotman’s guilty plea and time served on remand, which left him with no more time to spend behind bars.
Justice Greaves accepted the submissions of the attorneys but told Trotman, who moments before had said he was “sorry for the crime that I commit”, that he was lucky.
“I still think you are getting off a little lucky, young man. You have the potential to be a good citizen,” said the judge. “As I have said before, I have not seen a single case after sitting as a judicial officer for over 28 years, in which I can say I have seen an illegal firearm make a boy into a man.”
“It seems as though men have enough arms already – two arms. You have a right arm and a left arm . . . . I don’t see why you would need an illegal arm. But if you choose to do this again, you shall not find these courts merciful. Our policy is clear, you only get this one chance… after that, you go to jail and jail is substantial,”
Justice Greaves who presides over Supreme Court No. 3 said.
“You said you have two kids. You have wasted some of their lives by wasting the last three years in jail. Does that make sense to you?” the judge then asked Trotman who replied, “No, Sir”.
Greaves advised the convicted man to go home, raise his family and keep off the block.
“There is nothing good for you on the block, other than to make you a blockhead – that is a head without anything,” he said. “You may go.”
“Thank you, Sir,” Trotman responded before leaving the court.