Seven years for unlicensed revolver

Judge finds no exceptional circumstances

Michael Hugh Powell, 42, was sentenced on Thursday to seven years imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of a loaded, unlicensed .22 Longhorn revolver.

Justice Charles Quin said he found no exceptional circumstances that could justify departing from the mandatory minimum sentence required by law.

Powell told authorities that he found the gun when he was working as a CUC linesman in the Prospect area and went into the bushes to relieve himself. He left it in place, but went back that night and took it, subsequently hiding it in his bedroom.

That happened in mid-September 2012. Police subsequently received information and obtained a search warrant. At his home, on 19 November, Powell showed them where the gun was hidden.

Asked why he had kept it instead of turning it in, Powell said a lot of stuff was happening in Cayman and he was just being stupid.

Defence counsel emphasized Powell’s previous good character and incidents in which he had previously assisted police. If there had been an amnesty he would have surrendered it, they said.

Justice Quin said the explanation that he took the gun “to remove it from criminal circulation” was implausible.

He said the court had to pass a sentence that would deter others.

The public gallery was more than half-filled for the sentencing and soft sobbing could be heard as Powell returned to custody.


Caption: A picture of the weapon similar to the one involved in the Powell case. Photo: File

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now


  1. So let me get this straight, a guy finds a gun in the bushes, brings it home, puts in the in house where it is hidden and then gets 7 years imprisonment for simply possessing a unlicensed handgun? Are you kidding me? He didn’t shoot anyone, commit a robbery or assault or threaten violence on anyone. It’s no wonder this country is so messed up as it is. Take for example the death of the medical student last year, killed by a drunk driver. In this case, the driver Brooks-Dixon was driving intoxicated and reckless exceeding speeds of over 100 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. He only received a 3 year sentence for his crime, which means he could be released in as early as 2 years. Cayman politicians take a good look at the criminal code and realize your priorities and legal system needs an overhaul. 7 years for possession but only 3 for taking a life

  2. A 22 for protection. You would be hard pressed to use that as a killing or self defense weapon if you had to use it.

    Unless you press that revolver right up against the chest and directly at the heart, between the rib cage, That caliber will not penetrate a chest bone enough to kill.

    So unless the person in question stands very still, to allow this. That gun is useless for protection.

    But having something that is outlawed, was the cool factor behind this crime.

    Unfortunately, the cool factor nets you many many many years in prison.

    Sometimes, the cool factor isn’t worth it.

  3. Sorry Big Berd you are simply wrong. This exact model of revolver was used in the Manson murders. When I learned to shoot the dangers of the 22 round were carefully explained – I still recall being shown a block of plasticine – far denser than human bone – with a 22LR having not only penetrated some inches into it, but then expanded and leaving a sizeable hole. 22LR is a well known cartridge used by professional hitmen, as the round typically richochets around the inside of the head. See the Wikipedia entry on the same round.

    In fact, a .22 LR bullet is capable of inflicting very serious injuries (e.g. the four people wounded during the Reagan assassination attempt) or death e.g. the Kauhajoki school shooting (11 killed and 1 wounded), the Jokela school shooting (8 killed and 1 wounded), or the 1979 Cleveland Elementary School shooting (2 killed and 8 wounded) as well as the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Numerous other shooting incidents have demonstrated that .22 LR bullets can easily kill or seriously injure humans.

    Bottom line – this is a dangerous weapon, well capable of killing people, and this guy knew perfectly well that it was illegal to have it. You are simply speculating on his motivation being self protection- but also bear in mind that being an unlicensed weapon it would not have been properly secured in his home, and could have been found and used by kids or stolen. Thats before you even get into the fact that he had no way of knowing if the weapon – supposedly concealed in the bush – had not been used in another crime, and by taking it instead of telling the police where it was he could have been hindering an investigation. How do you expect to stamp out violent crime if you start making distinctions on illegal weapon possession based on motivation or relative harm?

  4. Yes, a 22 Long Round. The same kind that goes into a ar15.

    But a revolver is a short round.

    This 22 isn’t meant to kill humans.

    I am a hand gun owner. And have fired hand guns since I was 8 years old.

    I might know a thing or two, about various calibers.

  5. Big Berd, your lack of knowledge is of firearms is appalling… It’s persons like you that spout off nonsense like it’s the same kind that goes in an ar15 that make person with ACTUAL knowledge of firearms cringe..a .22 Long Rifle, is NOT the type of round that goes into an AR-15. They aren’t even are seeing .22 and thinking that because an AR-15 is a .223 Caliber that they are the same caliber, but they are MILES different. But make NO mistake, a .22 LR, Long or Short, is quite lethal.

  6. In the States I own .22 caliber pistols and rifles. I can shoot the LR or shorts through most of them. The LR has more powder and travels further. Both are deadly. Mob hits use the .22 to rattle around in the skull.