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Judge: Illegal guns causing mayhem
High Court judge Anthony Carmona has said T&T “is producing cold-blooded killers” because of the proliferation of guns. Saying the country was in crisis, Carmona also said the cemeteries were filled to capacity, mostly with young men killed by guns.
Carmona said guns were responsible for the murders and the mayhem currently taking place. Recalling when he was attached to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the judge said people used to shoot other people in the chest, which opened up th possibility of some of them actually surviving those attacks. Today, however, he said people are being shot in the head.
“Brains are splattering all over the place. It takes a cold-blooded person to do something like that,” Carmona said in the San Fernando Second Assizes on Tuesday. He made the comments as he listened to the mitigation plea of attorney Ian Brooks, representing US deportee Jerome Kendell Barker, who pleaded guilty to possession of two guns and a large quantity of ammunition.
Referring to an incident in the Beetham Estate two weeks ago, in which eight people were shot, Carmona said he was amazed by the “almost kind of muted response” by people in and outside of authority. “There hasn’t been that kind of outcry one would have expected,” he said, adding that if eight people were shot in the United States it would have made world news and triggered an immediate response from everyone.
Carmona said people were even being shot in broad daylight, leaving law-abiding citizens afraid to walk the streets. The judge said the Laventille cemetery was filled to capacity with former residents from its community and people now had to bury their loved ones in other areas. The San Juan and Mucurapo cemeteries are also filled, he added. “In the Tunapuna Cemetery lie the bodies of hundreds of young men.
“Their demise has its genesis in arms and ammunition,” he said. Brooks, however, said his client had already spent eight years in prison, pleaded guilty and had turned his life around. Saying Barker was employed at Smart Security services and also did carpentry, Brooks asked for a non-custodial sentence.
Barker, 53, was arrested 17 days after the murder of Securicor security guard Manmohan Ramdhan at Duncan Village, San Fernando. Ramdhan was shot dead on June 28, 2006. Police found Barker with guns and ammunition and also charged him with Ramdhan’s murder.
However, last year, the DPP discontinued the murder case against Barker, who was then granted his own bail on the arms and ammunition charges. Carmona is expected to sentence Barker on February 20.
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