18-year-old jailed for possession of unlicensed firearm, ammunition


Tribune Staff Reporter


AN 18-year-old was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday after admitting to owning a loaded gun found in a car Sea Breeze last week.

Magistrate Lennox Coleby charged Danny Francois along with Courtney Belton, 30, and Shantika Belton, 28, with possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.

Keevon Maynard, Ian Cargill and Levan Johnson represented the accused.

Police stopped the Beltons in a silver Honda Accord outside their residence on Coptan Close on the morning of January 7. A search uncovered a black Austria Glock 9mm pistol along with 14 round of 9mm ammunition in the centre console of the vehicle.

Francois would later turn himself into police where he admitted to owning the gun.

Francois was the sole defendant to plead guilty to the firearm charges. Following their not guilty pleas, the charges against the Beltons were withdrawn.

During Mr Maynard’s mitigation he stated that his teenage client had no priors and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to spare the court’s time. In addition to saying that Francois had realised the error of his ways, the attorney asked for the court’s mercy. He implored the court to consider a fine in lieu of a custodial sentence given his client’s young age.

After crediting Francois for his early plea, Magistrate Coleby sentenced the defendant to 24 months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

During his incarceration Francois will be enrolled in carpentry classes.

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