By Latrishka Thomas
A 24-year-old man was ordered to pay a $12,500 fine for the unlawful possession of a rifle and a revolver.
Keal Christmas of Clark’s Hill was intercepted by patrolling officers around 8pm on September 25 while driving on Road Armstrong with his headlights off.
Christmas was in transit from west to east in a Toyota Vitz when law enforcement officers signalled for him to stop.
The officers subsequently approached the vehicle, inquiring about his headlights, to which he claimed to be unaware.
However, their suspicions were alerted and they requested permission to search his vehicle, to which Christmas consented.
During the search, officers discovered a multi-coloured bag on the front seat, which Christmas admitted was his. An RG .32 revolver was discovered within the bag.
Upon further questioning, Christmas confessed to possessing not only the revolver but also a rifle, albeit asserting that the latter was non-functional due to the absence of a firing pin.
Consequently, he was taken into custody, and a search warrant was subsequently obtained and executed. This search revealed the Weatherby Mark V rifle on a shelf in Christmas’ bedroom.
During the legal proceedings, Christmas was represented by attorney Michael Archibald, who presented several mitigating factors to Magistrate Conliffe Clarke. These included Christmas’s candour throughout the process, his clean criminal record, and his acceptance of responsibility for the firearms.
Archibald elucidated that the revolver had been given to Christmas years prior and had been kept by him ever since, while the rifle had previously belonged to his godfather.
Christmas claimed that, upon his godfather’s passing, they had cleared his home, and he had retained the rifle, considering it a mere ornament.
When asked why he had the revolver in his vehicle on Armstrong Road while travelling without headlights, Christmas explained that he worked at a restaurant on that street and could not leave the revolver at home due to security concerns regarding his residence.
Furthermore, Archibald argued that since no ammunition was discovered during the search, there was no concrete evidence to suggest nefarious intent.
However, the prosecution pointed out that during a police interview the accused had admitted to purchasing 15 rounds of ammunition for the revolver in the past.
Christmas was therefore fined $6,500 for possessing the revolver and $6,000 for the rifle. He is mandated to remit these fines to the state by the end of November. Failure to do so may result in him serving concurrent prison sentences of 10 months for the revolver and eight months for the rifle.