Sitting with his head hanging low in the dock of the Grand Court on Wednesday afternoon, 39‑year-old Andy Errol Barnes released a deep sigh as the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict against him on a single charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm.
This is the second time Barnes has been convicted of illegally possessing the same .38-calibre revolver.
In June 2017, a Grand Court Jury convicted Barnes of a single gun charge, and he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars. At the time, he was jointly charged with Yannick McLaughlin and Amber Yates, both of whom were acquitted by the jury.
Following his conviction, Barnes successfully appealed the verdict on the grounds that Justice Michael Wood, the judge in the case, failed to direct the jury to treat McLaughlin’s evidence with caution, and that Justice Wood allowed the cross-examination of McLaughlin to be conducted in such a way that implied police had information that Barnes was in possession of a firearm.
After overturning the conviction, the appeals court ordered that a retrial be conducted in the interest of justice. That trial, which began on Monday, 26 Aug., ended with another guilty verdict.
The gun was found behind the panel of a microwave oven in a two-bedroom apartment, while police were searching the home. DNA and fingerprint evidence lifted from the panel behind which the gun was directly located, returned a match for Barnes. He denied any knowledge and ownership of the gun.
Barnes, who is currently in custody, is expected to be sentenced next week.