If he cannot find the money to pay a fine for carrying a firearm, Edward Junior George will have to spend time in prison.
That warning was issued by Madame Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell after George indicated he was not in a position to pay the $25 000 fine proposed by Crown Counsel Kevin Forde.
George, of Kensington New Road, St Michael, had previously pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm without a licence on April 26, 2020.
During his sentencing submission in the No. 4 Supreme Court this morning, Forde said the Crown was not seeking a custodial sentence.
Instead, he said he was asking for a substantial fine to be imposed.
He said this was based mainly on the fact that the convicted man had a previously clean record, pleaded guilty on the earliest occasion and assisted police with investigations.
Forde said a pre-sentencing report had placed the convicted man at a medium risk of re-offending.
The prosecutor suggested the court impose a fine of $25 000 on George, with $20 000 to be paid forthwith and the remaining $5 000 to be paid in five months, with an alternative of eight years in prison.
In his sentencing submissions, George apologized for his actions and told the court he had learned “a lot” during his time on remand.
He told the court he was not a bad person and wanted an opportunity to be a father for his youngest daughter.
When asked by Justice Smith-Bovell if he was in a position to pay the fine suggested by Forde, he said it was too high.
“I feel the fine is a bit too high because I live on my own. I rent and I have my two daughters to deal with. I ain’t come from a family that is that fortunate, but I work and I provide for my little family that I have raising. I don’t know if I can contact my bossman and see how much he could help me with,” George said.
But Justice Smith-Bovell told him a custodial sentence would have to be imposed if he could not come up with the money.
“The reality Mr George is if you cannot pay a fine you are looking at a sentence of eight years or thereabout to start and by the time I take off the one-third [for early guilty plea] that will take you to five years and some,” she said.
The convicted man said he would try to get in touch with his boss and his siblings to see if they could be of assistance.
Justice Smith-Bovell then adjourned the matter until January 14, 2022. (RB)