Inquiry set for firearm charge

Bail refused for two men in May incident

Chief Magistrate Nova Hall refused bail on Wednesday for two men accused of possessing an unlicensed .38 Auto calibre AMT pistol following an incident in George Town on 5 May. 

Following the unsuccessful applications, Roger Antonio Moore and Osbourne Wilfred Douglas elected to have the matter tried in Grand Court. Chief Magistrate Nova Hall set the preliminary inquiry date for Thursday, 2 August.  

Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson told the court that officers were on patrol in the Seymour Road area when their attention was drawn to a car travelling along that roadway. The used their lights to signal the car to pull over and it did. The two men alighted and during a search of Moore, a firearm fell from his pants leg.  

One of the officers went to retrieve the gun but Douglas allegedly put his foot on the officer’s fingers.  

A struggle ensued and officers were eventually successful in retrieving the gun. 

Moore, 27, was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. Douglas, 25, was charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer acting in the execution of his duty. At their first court appearance Douglas pleaded guilty with the explanation that he was drunk. He was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment. 

Ms Hutchinson said when the men were booked into custody, buccal swabs were taken [from the inside of the mouth] for DNA testing. These swabs were compared with DNA swabs from the gun. As a result, Douglas was also charged with possession, she said. 

In the bail applications, attorney John Furniss pointed out that there was nothing in the DNA evidence to link Moore with the firearm. Attorney Fiona Robertson said Douglas, who had previous convictions, has always surrendered to the court as required, cooperated with the court process and was known in the community. She suggested electronic monitoring and a curfew. 

It was also pointed out that the matter will take some time to be heard if it goes to Grand Court. 

In refusing bail, the chief magistrate said she was considering the strength of the Crown’s case, the potential for further offences and the risk of flight. 

Law Court Cayman Islands

The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town. – File photo.