A British national who failed to attend court on several occasions on gun and ammunition charges dating back a decade, claiming he had been facing health challenges, was on Friday remanded to prison.
Andrew Key, 58, whose local address is given as Josey Hill, St Lucy, is charged with possession of a shotgun, an air rifle, a 223 rifle, and a .22 rifle without a valid licence, and 3 093 rounds of ammunition without a valid permit, on July 24, 2013. He is also accused of unlawfully cultivating cannabis plants, possession of cannabis and possession of camouflage clothing – four pairs of pants, eight jackets, one tee shirt and one hat – without authorisation.
When he appeared before Justice Carlisle Greaves in Supreme Court No. 3, Key was asked why he had missed several court appearances. Before apologising for his absence, he said that he had a heart attack eight years ago and four subsequent strokes which affected his short-term memory.
“I would never miss a court date knowingly. I am here today and I would like to get this matter resolved as soon as possible…. I do not have long to live as my right brain is dead and as such, I have been informed that it will turn cancerous at some stage. I apologise again and will endeavour to not let it happen again,” the accused man said.
Key claimed that his last stroke was two weeks ago, but he admitted that he had not gone to the hospital. He also said he could not remember whether he had a stroke in 2021 or 2022, when asked by the judge.
“You disappeared from this court since July 26, 2021, and you are coming with excuses to me … as to why you have not turned up in this court for over a year. We have been looking all over the place for you!” Greaves told the accused gunman.
He then remanded Key into custody and ordered psychological and psychiatric assessments to determine his fitness for trial.
January 15, 2024, was set as a mention date for a trial date to be fixed.
“These offences are alleged to have occurred since 2013; the indictment was since 2020; we are now about to enter 2024. The delay is too much. It is time that the nation learns why a man was alleged to have all of these things,” the judge said.