A newly appointed judge on Friday added her voice to the clamor of individuals expressing worry over the number of illicit firearms in the nation, saying that opportunities for the use of firearms in Barbados are appearing “too frequently for comfort”.
Gunman Donston McDonald Powlett of 6th Avenue, New Orleans, St. Michael was punished at Supreme Court No. 5a, and Madam Justice Wanda Blair highlighted her concern over the proliferation of guns in Barbados. He previously acknowledged owning a Glock.45-caliber pistol, a 9mm Luger pistol, and 18 rounds of ammunition on November 14, 2018.
“Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a firearm waiting to use it if the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, the opportunities have been presenting themselves too frequently for comfort in this small society,” Justice Blair remarked.
“I join the chorus of those who have said it before me and concerned members of the public — for the persons importing and sneaking in these firearms across our borders to be apprehended and brought to justice. We have to find the sources of these firearms coming into Barbados and root them out.”
The court informed Powlett that his offenses, which included possessing two weapons in excellent operating order without permission and 18 rounds of ammunition without a permit, were significant and called for prison terms.
“This court cannot give you a slap on your wrist and send you home. These offenses do not qualify for a fine. These are serious offenses and the courts must send a clear and consistent message that these offenses will not be dealt with lightly. We have the mandate to engender confidence in the justice system …,” she noted.
Justice Blair stated that even though Powlett had the weapons on private property, they were loaded, and the Glock’s trigger was in the forward position and pointed toward a window, where, in her opinion, it seemed as though it may be ready to fire at any moment. She said that one of the other annoying elements was that the Glock was left open on a bed in a place where numerous individuals were present.
“Mr Powlett, you have been up to no good for most of your young life. With your antecedents, a firearm in your hand is a source of grave danger to society…,” Justice Blair noted.
After deducting the 1,133 days he had spent in custody at Dodds and a one-third reduction for entering a guilty plea, the judge then imposed a beginning sentence of seven years or 2,557 days in jail for each offense of possessing a handgun.
Powlett received time served for the possession of ammunition.
Justice Blair stated, “It is my…hope that you will make use of every opportunity you are offered in prison to improve your skills in some areas which will better equip you to be a better and more productive member of society.
“Ultimately, to the extent that you can control it, your future is in your hands. You are old enough to understand that you have the power to choose good over evil, right from wrong, and a life that will make you a productive member of society or a menace.
“It is time for you to step up and make the right decisions. I hope that you will make those decisions that can ultimately help to save your life.”
Powlett is required to undergo anger management counseling while he is incarcerated and take part in any skill-building programs that would better prepare him for life outside prison.
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