Teens found guilty of having grenades, M-16 rifle

Kevin George and Samuel Johnson, the two teenagers who police say were nabbed with a haversack that contained grenades, an M-16 assault rifle and ammunition, were yesterday found guilty of the crime by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

George, 18, of Lot 21 Castello Housing Scheme and Johnson, 17, of Lot 158 Curtis Street, Albouystown, had both pleaded not guilty to the charges. They will be sentenced on Tuesday.

According to the Chief Magistrate the court reached its verdict based on the testimony offered by the police ranks, who had observed the activities of the two youths on January 22. It was alleged that on that day, the two young men were walking along Aubrey Barker Road when a police patrol observed their suspicious manner. They noticed that George handed a bulky black bag to Johnson, who upon seeing the ranks approaching, dropped the article. The two were later subsequently apprehended and the illegal articles were discovered.

Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry related that a constable established the articles in their possession were in fact explosives with detonators which the youths had in possession without legal permission.

Defence counsel for George, Peter Hugh, asked that the sentence for his client be the bare minimum. However, Prosecutor Bharat Mangru countered this statement by positing that the sentence should take cognisance of the fact that the youth possessed 61 rounds of ammunition and he asked that the sentence be used as a deterrent for others.

This motion was rejected by Hugh, who explained that George, a first time offender, should not be subjected to this reasoning as sentences should not be based on the amount of rounds in his client’s possession, He added that numerous crimes are committed everyday regardless of those who are serving sentences which were meant to deter them.

Roysdale Forde, counsel for Johnson, echoed Hugh’s call for minimal sentencing and also requested a probation report for his client. Since there was no probation officer available, sentencing for the teens was postponed until next Tuesday.

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