By Feona Morrison
A 25-year-old woman was remanded and soon after transported to the New Amsterdam prison after she was accused of pointing a loaded gun to a police rank’s head and pulling the trigger, in an attempt to kill him.
Maryann Daby of 127 D’Aguiar Park, Houston, Georgetown was not required to plead to the indictable charge which alleged that on May 13, at Albert Street and Thomas Lands, Georgetown, with intent to commit murder, she attempted to discharge a loaded firearm at Police Constable Christopher Kissoon.
Daby, who the court was told is the Director for a company that retails construction materials, was also slapped with charges for unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.
It is alleged that on May 13, at the same location, she had a .32 pistol in her possession, when she was not the holder of a firearm licence enforced at the time. It was further alleged that on the same day, she had six live rounds of .32 ammunition in her possession, when she was not the holder of a firearm licence enforced at the time.
To the latter two charges, Daby entered a plea of not guilty.
The charges were filed under Section 103 (g) of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act Chapter 8:01 and Section 16 (2) (a) of the Firearm Act Chapter 16:05 as amended by the Firearm Amendment Act 7 of 2007, respectively.
According to facts presented by Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore, on the day in question Daby and her friends along with Constable Kissoon were at the Georgetown Motor Racing and Sports Club. The prosecutor said that Constable Kissoon, who was off-duty, suddenly heard what appeared to be gunshots going off. While making checks, the prosecutor said, Constable Kissoon saw Daby firing rounds into the air, and went to confront her.
The court was told that when the police rank approached Daby, she became annoyed and pointed her unlicenced firearm to his head and then pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the prosecutor added that by then, there were no more rounds in the gun.
During an application for bail on behalf of Daby, Attorney-at-Law Mark Waldron expressed shock at the charges brought against his client. The lawyer disclosed that some time after the alleged incident, police ranks went to his client’s home, arrested her and took her to the Brickdam Police Station.
The lawyer disclosed that investigators advised him that Daby would have only been charged for discharging a loaded firearm with intent. Surprisingly to him, Waldron added that his client was charged with intent to commit murder plus two additional offences.
Advancing arguments to support that Daby is an eligible candidate for bail, Waldron argued that there is no evidence whatsoever to support that his client discharged a loaded gun. This, he said, was proven when crime scene ranks performed gunpowder residue testing on her.
Further, Waldron added that considering the location where the incident occurred, police were still unable to get eyewitnesses, nor did they retrieved any spent shells from the scene to support the charges instituted against Daby.
As such, the lawyer contended that the only evidence police are relying on is the statement of Constable Kissoon.
Nevertheless, Waldron disclosed that close to a
dozen persons turned up at the Brickdam Police Station to refute that such an incident occurred, but investigators did not see it important to take statements from these individualsThe lawyer then went on questioning the basis on which the gun-related charges were filed.
According to him, his client’s firearm licence is still within the renewal grace period. The lawyer disclosed that Daby was only issued with that firearm licence last year and was granted permission by police to upgrade to a 9mm pistol that she is still waiting on to arrive in the country before surrendering the .32 pistol.
The lawyer declared that police ranks who instituted the charges against Daby failed to seek advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the police Legal Adviser.
As such, the lawyer argued that the charges against his client are “grounded in malice”.
For his part, Prosecutor Moore accepted that advice was sought from neither the DPP nor police Legal Advisor. Maintaining that the young woman must be remanded to prison, the prosecutor pointed to the serious nature of the attempting to commit murder charge and that a firearm was used to commit the crime.It was then the lawyer inquired again why no efforts were made to seek advice before instituting the charges.
The prosecutor also put forward that Daby is a flight risk. In relation to the unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition charges, Prosecutor Moore insisted that it was Daby’s duty to ensure that her firearm licence is enforced at all times.
After listening to submissions from both sides, Magistrate Latchman remanded Daby to prison and ordered her to make her next court appearance next week Wednesday, when she will appear before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
Daby had the support of her family members and close friends who showed up at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
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