Barber, parliamentary clerk on gun, ammo charges

A barber and a clerk in the Parliament Office were both remanded to prison on Monday after they were brought before a city court on possession of firearm and ammunition charges.

Andrew Kirton, 30, of 107 Old Road Eccles, East Bank Demerara and Candace Gerard, 30 of U13633 Gibson Street, Tucville both pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court 1.

It is alleged that the pair, on January 25, at 315 BB Eccles, East Bank Demerara, had in their possession a .32 pistol without being owners of a firearm licence. They were also charged with possessing 10 live rounds of .32 ammunition, without a firearm licence.

According to Prosecutor Michael Grant, acting on information received, police officers went to 315 BB Eccles. There, officers met Kirton and enquired who was with him. The man, Grant said, replied that Gerard was also on the premises. Kirton was informed why the officers were there and let them into the home to conduct a search.

During a search of the bedroom in the defendants’ presence, he said, the gun and ammunition were found in a jacket hanging behind the room’s door. It is then, Grant continued, that Kirton turned to the officers and offered to have the matter resolved immediately. Gerard remained silent. However, the officers refused the officer and instead informed them of the offence before arresting them.

However, attorney Latchmie Rahamat, representing both of the defendants, relayed a much different version of the events. According to Rahamat, no weapon or ammunition had been found on her clients. She further added that neither of her clients resided at 315 BB Eccles.

According to information Rahamat received from her clients, they were picked up by officers and were taken along to other raids in Albouystown, Tiger Bay, and other areas.

They were then taken, Rahamat said, to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where they observed ranks scraping a gun before they were requested to step out for a moment. They were also informed of their charge, though they denied having knowledge of any firearm and ammunition.

Rahamat requested reasonable bail for her clients. However, Prosecutor Grant objected, stating that the reasons outlined by the defence could not be considered special circumstances for bail.

Kirton and Gerard were refused bail by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and are scheduled to return to court on January 29, when the case will be called at the Providence Magistrate’s Court.

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