Two men have been penalised for having illegal guns and ammunition in separate cases.
And while one was able to maintain his freedom with the ability to pay a fine, the other has to spend just over a year more in jail.
First before Justice Randall Worrell on Wednesday was Kemar Devere Sharan Rudder who has three months to pay $10 000 in fines.
The judge imposed the sentence on the Farm Road, Deacons, St Michael resident on Wednesday, informing him that he will face the alternative of 130 days in prison if the amount is not paid. The prison time is the remainder of a nine-year starting sentence.
Rudder had pleaded guilty before the No. 2 Supreme Court to having a 9 mm Glock pistol and 19 rounds of ammunition on April 7, 2019.
“You have pleaded guilty to matters which are extremely serious. I think we all know that firearms are very prevalent, and illegal firearms are something that has been frowned upon by the court and by society . . . ,” the judge said to the convicted man who had been out on bail.
Justice Worrell stated that the gun Rudder had was a “serious weapon” and the amount of ammunition was “a lot”.
The offences, he said, attracted a custodial sentence and a starting point in the instant case was “no less” than nine years.
From that time, the judge gave the convicted man a one-third discount for his guilty plea and shaved off a year as a result of mitigating factors. Another year was deducted for the delay in the matter being adjudicated before the court, leaving him with four years, or 1 460 days.
Rudder was additionally credited for the 1 330 days he spent on remand, leaving him with 130 days left to serve.
However, that prison term was substituted with a fine. Given that he had spent just shy of four years on remand, the judge imposed a fine of $7 500 for the firearm and $2 500 for the ammunition. The amounts must be paid in three months or Rudder will spend 130 days in prison.
According to the facts, Rudder was involved in an altercation with his ex-girlfriend in which he used a firearm to threaten and intimidate her. He had visited the woman’s apartment at Brighton, St Michael, retrieved the weapon from where it had been hidden and demanded that the woman unlock her cellular phone.
Rudder then began to assault her physically. When she told him that he was hurting her, he replied: “You still have to unlock the f*****g phone.”
When the woman unlocked the phone, Rudder went through the device as he questioned her about former boyfriends. When she did not answer, he pulled the gun from his waist and pointed it at her feet, demanding that she answer. He then pushed the weapon at her lip, causing it to bleed. Rudder assaulted her further before leaving the apartment with the woman’s keys and cellular phone.
He returned sometime later with the phone and keys and placed the weapon back in the wardrobe where he had taken it from and left the residence.
The woman called the police and reported the matter. She informed them about the firearm and when lawmen went to the house the weapon was found.
Rudder was arrested at his home and taken to the woman’s apartment. Police found 16 rounds of ammunition in the magazine of the gun and three more in a plastic bag.
He was represented by attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens in the case, while State Counsel Anastasia McMeo-Boyce was the prosecutor.
In the other matter, Mario Antonio Demar Robinson was given an eight-year starting sentence in prison after his attorney Latisha Springer informed Justice Worrell that her client was unable to pay a fine.
However, the first-time gun offender from Thorpes, St James only has just over a year left to serve at Dodds after the legal credits and deductions.
Robinson had pleaded guilty to having a.40 semiautomatic pistol and 23 rounds of ammunition.
In handing down the sentencing, Justice Worrell noted that Robinson previously had a clean record, had been on remand for some time, and had no capacity for paying a fine.
However, he made it clear that the offences were extremely serious and, as such, Robinson would have to serve time behind bars.
The starting sentence was then imposed, from which a year was deducted for mitigating circumstances, including the fact that Robinson had no previous convictions; he was credited 270 days for the delay in his case; and he was given a one-third discount for his guilty plea, leaving him with 1 434 days, from which the 1 060 days he had spent on remand was deducted.
That left Robinson with 374 days left to serve at Dodds.