A man who claimed that several people were trying to kill him was sentenced Thursday to the mandatory minimum term of seven years for possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Randy James Parchment admitted having the loaded .38 Smith & Wesson handgun in the vicinity of Bananas Bar and Restaurant on Eastern Avenue in the early hours of Aug. 4 this year. Police used a taser to subdue him before arresting him.
Dame Linda Dobbs, acting judge of the Grand Court, who imposed the sentence, referred to Parchment’s interview with police the day after he was arrested. He told officers he had the gun for his protection because several people were trying to kill him.
“He named three persons, but said there were about a dozen people looking for him,” the judge added. Parchment also told police he did not have any gang affiliation and there was no reason to kill him other than “bad mind.”
Defense attorney Crister Brady acknowledged that Parchment, who will be 36 next week, had had a long association with the criminal justice system. Many of his difficulties came through his use of alcohol from age 15 and his consumption of illegal drugs, the attorney said.
Parchment spent his late teens and almost all of his 20s in prison after being convicted of a 1999 manslaughter, he noted.
Mr. Brady said that since Parchment was released on license in 2009, he had been shot at on two separate occasions. His offending was motivated by a genuine fear of being hurt and he had little confidence in the police’s ability to protect him. As a result, he made “a foolish decision to arm himself whenever he visited certain places.”
Ironically, Parchment felt somewhat safe in prison, the attorney noted.
Crown counsel Candia James presented the background to the case against Parchment. She said officers responded to a report of a man threatening people with a firearm in the car park outside Bananas. When officers arrived, they saw Parchment standing next to a vehicle. They identified themselves and requested a search, but Parchment began walking away. He resisted the officers’ efforts to detain and search him.
In summing up her sentencing remarks, the judge said Parchment “had to be tasered several times to be subdued. He was eventually restrained and a loaded firearm was removed from his waistband. He was arrested and taken into custody.”
Ms. James said the firearm was subsequently test-fired and found to be operable. A search of Parchment’s George Town residence revealed two bags of ammunition, totaling 44 rounds.
The judge noted that there was no statement from the firearms officer about the 44 rounds and whether they were live. Photographs of the firearm and bullets submitted to the court tended to support Parchment’s explanation that he had found them, as they looked old and worn, she said.
She passed a sentence of seven years for possession of the handgun, as well as another concurrent sentence of seven years for possession of the unlicensed ammunition.
There will be a court order for the forfeiture of the gun and ammunition.