Vryheid’s Lust man refused bail on gun charges

A Vryheid’s Lust resident was yesterday arraigned and refused bail on charges of unlicensed firearm possession before a city court.

The accused, Edward McCollin, 37, of Lot 67 Vryheid’s Lust, was read two charges. The first stated that on December 20, at Georgetown, he had a 1.228T Rochester rifle in his possession without being the holder of a firearm licence. The second charge read that on December 20, at Georgetown, he was in possession of 19 live rounds of .32 ammunition without being the holder of a firearm license.

McCollin denied both allegations.

According to the prosecution, on the day in question, McCollin was seen by police ranks near August Beverages on Norton Street in possession of a firearm. It was reported that the man ran up to a woman and tried to conceal the gun. It was alleged that when the ranks approached and questioned him, he claimed he was a police officer. The defendant, however, gave the court a very different account of events.

Edward McCollin
Edward McCollin

McCollin claimed that on Saturday night at about 8 pm he was standing by a bar where he met a few friends. He related that 20 minutes in, as he was speaking to a young lady, there was a commotion and someone approached him from behind, placing his neck in a vise and grabbing the back of his pants. He told the court that he saw black pants and shoes and he recognized the individual to be a policeman.

McCollin said he was hit in the head and blacked out. When he came to, he said, he was at the police station. The defendant claimed that he overheard the ranks talking about a gun but thus far, he has not been shown the articles he was allegedly in possession of. McCollin further stated that no statement regarding the matter was taken from him.

The accused asked that bail be granted to him, stating that he has serious medical problems, but his request was objected to by Prosecutor Deniro Jones, who said that McCollin had two other matters before the court.

Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan adjourned the matter to January 18 and transferred it to Court 3, where Magistrate Judy Latchman presides. McCollin has been remanded until that time.

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