A businessman yesterday made an appearance before City Magistrate Judy Latchman in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to a charge of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
Fifty-one-year-old Leroy Benjamin of Barakat Landing, Bottom Side, Cuyuni, denied the charge which alleged that on May 29 at Barakat Landing, Cuyuni River in the Essequibo district, had in his possession one .32 Pistol, when he was not the holder of a firearm licence.
It was further alleged that on the same day in question at the same location, he had in his possession one .32 ammunition when he was not the holder of a firearm licence.
The defendant was represented by Attorney Trenton Lake, who, in his application to secure bail for his client, told the court that on the day in question his client was at Barakat Landing offloading goods from his boat.
The attorney stressed that his client was approached by a man named ‘Tattoo Man’ who went on his client’s boat without his permission and started to offload goods.
The court heard that after the defendant observed ‘Tattoo Man’ on his boat, the two became embroiled in a heated argument and with the assistance of other persons, they were able to remove ‘Tattoo Man’ from the boat.
The attorney stated that while ‘Tattoo man’ was leaving the boat he threatened to ‘fix’ the defendant.
Not taking the threat lightly, the defendant called the Essequibo Police Station and reported the matter.
However, Police Inspector Shevon Daniels told the court that the prosecution’s facts were totally different from those of the attorney.
The prosecutor told the court that on the day in question, police in the area were conducting a patrol exercise when they saw the defendant and a group of men offloading goods from a boat.
The court heard that a search was conducted on the defendant and the police found one .32 pistol along with one .32 ammunition in his pants crotch. He was then told of the offence committed, arrested and charge.
Prosecutor Daniels objected to bail being granted citing the serious nature of the offence and penalty the charge attracts.
City Magistrate Judy Latchman remanded the defendant to prison and he will make his next court appearance today, where he will appear before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for assignment.
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