(Jamaica Gleaner) The policeman who was reported to be the mastermind behind the theft of guns and ammunition from the police armoury was found guilty yesterday of illegal possession of 18 firearms and more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition.
Sergeant Russell Robinson who was assigned to the police armoury will be sentenced on July 26.
Supreme Court judge Horace Marsh convicted him after a lengthy trial in the Gun Court.
The Crown, represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dirk Harrison and Crown counsel Broderick Smith, led evidence that in February last year, Robinson drove a minibus to Munster Road, Kingston 2. Guns and ammunition were found inside the minibus.
Worth more than his life
Four policemen, who were the main witnesses for the Crown, testified that they were on Munster Road when they saw Robinson drive up in a minibus.
They said Robinson told them that the police were “mashing” up his things. The policemen said Robinson pointed to the minibus and said that what was inside the minibus was worth more than his life.
The policemen went to the minibus and found that it was locked. They asked Robinson for the key and he gave it to them.
When they opened the minibus they found the guns and ammunition inside. Robinson was held and his firearm taken from him. He begged the policemen to release him and let him run away or return his firearm so he could shoot himself.
Robinson gave an unsworn statement from the dock, denying that he was in possession of the guns and ammunition. He said it was a grand conspiracy by some members of the police high command to set him up. He said the policemen who testified in court were all telling lies on him.
After three days of summation the judge, in handing down the verdict, said he found that the witnesses for the Crown were speaking the truth.
The judge said he rejected Robinson’s unsworn statement.
Poor character witness
A witness who was called to give character evidence for Robinson said he had not seen him since 1998.
The judge said the character evidence had no relevance on Robinson’s character because the witness had not seen Robinson for a long time.
After Robinson was found guilty on 18 counts of illegal possession of firearms and one count of illegal possession of ammunition, the prosecutors made an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act for the minibus to be forfeited to the Crown.
The judge granted the forfeiture order.
The minibus belongs to 45-year-old businessman Garnett Pellington, of Munster Road, who was one of the three civilians who was jointly charged with Robinson.
They pleaded guilty to several charges and were each sentenced last year to prison terms ranging from 10 to 13 years.
Attorneys-at-law Valerie Neita Robertson and Dianne Watson, who represent Robinson, will make a mitigation plea when he returns to court for sentencing.
Robinson has been in custody since he was arrested in February last year.