Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne has lauded attorney Grant Connell for his sterling mitigation plea on behalf of his client – Mickel Laidlow of Old Montrose.
Laidlow had changed his plea to gun and ammunition charges from not guilty to guilty on Monday, and was sentenced at the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday, to two years and two months for possession of a homemade firearm, three months for possession of a 12-guage shotgun ammunition, and one month for possession of 498 grams of marijuana with intent to supply.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
But the Chief Magistrate told Laidlow that had it not been for the strong mitigation plea by his lawyer, he would have ended up with a tougher sentence.
She pointed out that the maximum penalty for gun or ammunition possession in the Magistrate’s Court is seven years in prison, and there are sentencing guidelines which she must follow.
Laidlow did not receive the full one-third reduction in sentence for his not guilty plea because it was not entered at the first available opportunity.
He was instead given a one-tenth reduction. In addition, he benefitted from a further one-month reduction in sentence, for good behaviour.
Browne found no aggravating factors in relation to him or the offence. However, among the mitigating factors in relation to the defendant she highlighted his age, no previous convictions, his remorse, and corporation with the police.
She told Laidlow, “You are still young. You have an opportunity to redeem yourself.”
In mitigation, Connell told the Court that the gun was never brandished, that his client cooperated with police, and was extremely remorseful.
He noted that the gun was found in the “bosom” of his client’s bedroom during a police search on December 4, 2020.
He suggested that in light of the present situation with COVID-19, non-custodial sentences could be imposed, with those sentences being possibly on the lower end of the sentence structure.
Source :The Vincentian