Rusley Trevor Mendonca, 34, was yesterday found guilty after several court proceedings on the charges of unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to jail.
The ruling was read by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Mendonca was sentenced to two years over the unlawful possession of a firearm and 18 months for the ammunition charge, but the sentences will run concurrently.
Attorney-at-law Peter Hugh who represented the man made a plea in mitigation regarding the sentencing. He pleaded with the court for leniency on the grounds that his client is a well-known businessman. He also pointed out that the court should take into consideration that his client is the father of a minor child.
The magistrate took into consideration the attorney’s application but stressed the seriousness of the offence and the need for a strong message to be sent to other likely offenders.
It was alleged that the accused, on May 7 at Stabroek Market, George-town, had a .32 Taurus pistol along with 12 matching rounds of ammunition without being the holder of a firearm licence.
Prosecutor Nivelle Jeffers noted that four police witnesses were called during the proceedings to give their evidence. According to the prosecution’s facts, on the day two lawmen were on patrol in the market area when they observed a large gathering. The police officers, who at the time were armed with guns, intervened and saw the defendant assaulting another man with a gun. As a result, the lawmen held onto Mendonca but the man allegedly put up a resistance and subsequently escaped. The officers gave chase behind the accused who reportedly threw the gun to the ground while running away.