A former officer attached to the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) appeared in a city court yesterday charged with the illegal possession of a gun and live ammunition.
Roberto Osborne, 30, of Lot 117 Third Street, Alberttown was brought before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for allegedly having a semi-automatic Smith and Wesson pistol and eleven (11) live rounds of ammunition whilst he was not the holder of a firearm licence. He was arrested on April 9, last in Georgetown.
When asked to respond to the charge, he pleaded not guilty and submitted a bail application through his attorney, Gordon Gilhuys.
Gilhuys asked for the accused to be placed on reasonable bail. He said Osborne is single and is the father of one. The lawyer added that his client is now a businessman but was once a serving CANU officer.
“Your worship, my client never had any firearm or ammunition. There are people outside the courtroom who can testify that he had nothing.”
“The only thing my client is guilty of is throwing something away. The police came and saw him throwing something in the trench,” Gilhuys contended.
Police prosecutor Inspector Michael Grant offered objections to Osborne being placed on bail. He explained, however, that about 18:30 hours that day, a party of police ranks were on patrol duties in Alberttown when they noticed Osborne in the yard acting in what was described as a suspicious manner.
Grant said that he left the yard and threw something in the trench. One of the ranks pushed his hand in the trench and found the weapon loaded with the ammunition. Osborne was arrested and later charged for the offence.
The lawyer, however, argued that he was playing dominoes in the yard and there were several persons there; some of whom can vouch for his client’s innocence.
At this point, the Chief Magistrate asked to examine the statements which she read. “He went with something silver in the back of his hands and threw it in the trench. The area bubbled and they picked it up.”
Inspector Grant said too that it’s the court’s decision to determine whether special reasons were raised for bail, but held that he would object to him being granted his pretrial liberty since it was a gun as well as ammunition that was found.
Amidst ongoing arguments of the defence attorney, the Magistrate indicated that the court had found that no special reason was raised for Osborne to be granted bail.
She addressed Gilhuys “Counsel, if you feel that the court’s decision is flawed, you are free to challenge it.”
Osborne was remanded to prison and the matter was transferred to Magistrate Fabayo Azore for trial at the said Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Courtroom 5.
The trial is set to commence on April 28.
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