Sophia siblings charged with illegal gun, ammo possession

A US-based Guyanese woman and her brother were on Wednesday jointly charged with illegal possession of a firearm, three rounds of matching ammunition and a quantity of cannabis, when they faced the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday morning.

Magistrate Fabayo Azore stated that Abednigo Bancroft and Chavell Bancroft on March 17, 2017, at East Block, South Sophia, Greater Georgetown, were allegedly found in possession of a 9 mm pistol, three matching rounds and 12 grams of cannabis, during a Police raid conducted in the dwelling house of the accused.

The Prosecutor made no objection to bail on the first charge, but strongly upheld that the accused persons should be placed on remand for the latter charges. According to Police facts, ranks acting on information swooped down on the home of the accused and therein found the said articles.

Attorney Dexter Todd, appearing on behalf of the siblings, told the court that Abednigo is a 33-year-old father of two, while his sister is 32, recently divorced with one child.

Todd argued that mere occupancy cannot amount to possession, stating that this was a special reason enough to grant bail Chavell bail.

He related that the woman was not the owner of the premises as she was visiting relatives in the country. The woman had reportedly responded in the affirmative when questioned by Police if she lived in the house, prior to their entry.

He went on to say that his facts are no different to that presented by the prosecution, differing only where the room (in which the pistol was found) was allegedly searched in the presence of the two aacused. The lawyer contended that the premises was searched only in the presence of Chavell as her brother was somewhere in another room in the house.

The premises, according to the lawyer, housed multiple occupants and Chavell was only charged with the offence as she had not made a statement to the effect, connecting the owner to the firearm.

Bail was granted to the duo – $75,000 each – for the charge of narcotic possession and $150,000 each with respect to the second and third charges to Chavell only. Her brother was remanded on these counts.

The matter will continue on April 12.