Nov 26, 2008 News
Soldier takes 5 years’ jailed
…for protecting senior officer
A serving member of the Guyana Defence Force, Travis Sobers, 23, was yesterday jailed for five years after pleading guilty to a number of gun-related offences.
He made his court appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton.
It is alleged that the defendant, between November 14 and 17, at Ramp Road, Ruimveldt, stole one 9mm pistol, valued at $125,000, property of the Guyana Defence Force.
It is also alleged that, in the same period, Sobers had in his possession one 9mm pistol without being the holder of a firearm licence, and fifty rounds of matching ammunition. It is further alleged that he stole the ammunition from the Guyana Defence Force. He pleaded guilty to all the charges.
According to police prosecutor Desiree Fowler, between November 14 and 17, the defendant, who is a serving member of the Guyana Defence Force, was attached to the Coast Guard section of the force.
She stated that it was alleged that the defendant, while being on board the GDFS Essequibo, stole one 9mm pistol and fifty rounds of matching ammunition.
She further stated that, after stealing the said gun, he gave it to his friend, Kevin Martin. Martin was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition, to which he pleaded not guilty when he appeared before the same magistrate yesterday. He was remanded to prison, and is to return to court on April 7 next year.
After the gun was discovered missing by one Lieutenant Mc Lean, an investigation was conducted by the Guyana Defence Force.
On conclusion of the investigation, Sobers was handed over to the police, who charged him with the offences.
His lawyer, James Bond, noted that his client had sought to come clean for his “transgressions,” and is throwing himself at the mercy of the court. Bond said that the accused is only 23 years old and has been a member of the Guyana Defence Force for the last nine months.
He said that the court must see his client’s honesty, and he noted that the facts would show that, upon his arrest, he had supplied members of the Guyana Defence Force with pertinent information which led to the recovery of the missing gun.
The lawyer further stated that his client has an outstanding performance level, adding that he was even accepted to sail with the USS Kearsarge.
The lawyer claims that the gun and ammunition were given to him by a senior officer in the Guyana Defence Force, and he (Sobers) is protecting that same officer.
He said that his client is willing to take whatever penalties are meted out to him, and is therefore asking for a lenient sentence, so that he can still contribute to society in his younger days.
The defendant was sentenced to two years for stealing the firearm.
He was further sentenced to three years each on the possession of firearm and the ammunition charges.
These charges also incurred a $150,000 fine.
As for stealing the ammunition, he was jailed for 18 months. The sentences would run concurrently, so the defendant would only serve a maximum of five years.
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