Alex Mendonca, 19, who police say was found with an unlicensed gun and a quantity of bullets in his possession at his home, was yesterday sentenced to 48 months in prison after being found guilty of the offences.
The charges against Mendonca stated that on January 21, at Georgetown, he had in his possession a .32 Taurus pistol and 25 live rounds of matching ammunition without a licence.
Defence attorney George Thomas, in mitigation, asked the court to take into
consideration that his client was a young, first-time offender.
In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Judy Latchman, who presided over the case at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, noted that the Guyana Police Force had reported 923 cases of serious crimes between January and March of this year. The magistrate further went on to say that the statistics indicated that by the end of March, there were 37 murders when compared to 27 for the said period in 2013. She said this represented a 37% increase and added that the statistics also indicate a rise of 38% in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms.
At the end of the court’s submission, Mendonca was informed that he would be sentenced to 48 months in prison. Additionally, he was fined $60,000.
The teen had initially denied the charges.
According to Prosecutor Michael Grant, who had presented the police’s case at Mendonca’s arraignment, police officers, acting on a tip, had gone to the young man’s West Ruimveldt home at about 7 am on January 21 to conduct a search. Mendonca, who lives with his mother, had been locked in his bedroom when the officers arrived. His mother had no access to his room, Grant said.
Mendonca only opened the door after she knocked and requested entry and a search was conducted, during which the pistol and matching ammunition were found.