‘Guns in fridge’ case adjourned

Guilty plea entered in July

Michael Timothy Ebanks appeared in Grand Court again on Friday only to have charges against him adjourned for a special hearing tentatively set for 19 November.

Ebanks, who turned 21 in custody last year, pleaded guilty in July to importation of handguns and ammunition in a refrigerator imported onto the island from the USA in November 2008.

However, the basis of his plea was that as far as he was aware, there was one firearm for his use because he feared repercussions from others.

In previous court appearances, his attorney tried to get the Crown to agree to accept a plea to the one gun, but that had been refused.

On Friday Crown Counsel Nicola Moore asked Justice Roy Anderson for a ‘Newton hearing’ – a special hearing to examine the disputed facts because they could affect sentence. Ms Moore said the judge might feel there is a difference between one gun and five guns plus ammunition and magazines.

Ebanks has been in custody since 13 November. When he was first brought to court, the magistrate was told that an unnamed female, listed as the importer on customs documents, had first come to collect the fridge at the Customs Distribution Centre. But Ebanks later came to the centre and told officers the fridge belonged to him.

Officers then took him to witness a search of it, at which point they found the pistols, magazines and ammunition concealed inside the panels of the fridge’s door.

The firearms included one AK-47 magazine, one Mach 10 magazine, two Smith and Wesson handguns, a Titan Tiger handgun, a Taurus .45 handgun and a quantity of ammunition.

Ebanks is represented by Attorney Ben Tonner.