Interdicted cadet officer remanded over death threat, weapon charges

Franz Paul

Interdicted Cadet Officer Franz Paul, who was arrested at the start of the week after police say he threatened to shoot his wife, is now a remanded prisoner after being charged yesterday with threatening behaviour and illegal possession of a pistol and ammunition.

Paul, who was freed in May of a four-year-old charge stemming from the shooting of a teenager, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in Georgetown, where he denied three new charges that were read against him. It was alleged that on August 20th, at 114 Second Street, Alexander Village, Paul made use of threatening behaviour to his common-law wife, Rachel Carew. 

It was also alleged that on the same date and at the same location, he had in his possession a .32 pistol, without being the holder of a firearm license at the time. The third charge stated that on the same date, Paul had 13 live .32 rounds in his possession, without being the holder of a firearm licence.

Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers objected to bail being granted, citing the seriousness of the offences and the penalty they attract.

Jeffers told the court that on the day in question, Paul brandished the firearm at his wife and threatened to kill her. She, however, managed to get the firearm from him.

Jeffers said the incident took place in the presence of a neighbour, who is a known wanderer in the community. Immediately after taking the firearm from Paul, Carew gave the weapon to the neighbour, Jeffers said, before adding that the neighbour then hid it and reported the incident to the police.

However, Paul’s attorney, in an application for reasonable bail, pointed out to the court that the firearm was not found in his client’s possession. Instead, he noted that the weapon and ammunition were handed over to the police by a known wanderer, who claimed he had received the firearm from Carew. The attorney further stated that at that time his client was at the Georgetown Public Hospital seeking treatment for a broken arm. 

After hearing the submissions, Chief Magistrate McLennan stated that the court found no special reasons to grant Paul bail and remanded him to prison in the interest of public safety. 

His next hearing is fixed for September 3rd.

The Guyana Police Force announced Paul’s arrest on Monday after he allegedly threatened to shoot his wife with the unlicensed firearm during a misunderstanding at their home earlier in the morning.

Police said Paul was taken into custody at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he went to seek medical attention for an injury he sustained during the incident.

The police statement said that Paul’s wife alleged that he drew a loaded firearm and threatened to shoot her during the misunderstanding but she managed to disarm him. “…Immediately thereafter she handed over the firearm to a neighbour who promptly went to the nearby Ruimveldt Police Station, reported the matter and handed over a .32 pistol with thirteen (13) live rounds, one of which was found in its breech,” the statement explained.

The interdicted officer reportedly injured his hand after punching a concrete wall and he subsequently journeyed to the hospital, where he was arrested. “(The interdicted officer) told investigators that during the fracas, he struck the hand to a concrete wall,” the statement added.

Police also said Paul admitted ownership of the unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

On May 21st, Paul, who had been on trial for the April 30th, 2014 shooting of a then 15-year-old Alex Griffith, had the charge against him dismissed after an agreement to pay a total of $2 million in compensation to the youth.

Paul is interdicted pending a decision by the Police Service Commission on his reinstatement.

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