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Patrick Powell sentenced to prison for gun offence

St Andrew businesman Patrick Powell has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment following his conviction for failing to hand over his firearm to the authorities in Khjeel Mais murder investigation.

The sentence was handed down a short while ago by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith in the St Andrew Parish Court.

In handing down the judgement, Judge Smith asserted that he had to send a message to Powell and the other 30 thousand firearm holders  that they will not be allowed to breach the Firearms Act.

He said he also rejected Mr Powell's claim that the firearm was stolen from a safe at his house in 2011.

Powell told probation officers that he discovered that the weapon was stolen from the safe at his house on his release from custody in 2011.

Judge Smith said he didn't believe Powell as he did not tell this to the court during his trial.

Powell was convicted last month for refusing to hand over the weapon for inspection in the 2011 probe into the fatal shooting of 17 year Khjeel Mais.

Powell had denied the allegations and argued that he could not hand over the weapon as he was in custody at the time.

Powell was tried for the murder of Mais but was freed last year due to lack of evidence.

Attorney

During the sentencing hearing Powell's attorney, Deborah Martin, declared that her client was no longer in possession of the weapon.

She told the court Powell doesn't have the firearm to hand over to the authorities.

"We dont have the firearm to hand over," she declared.

She also argued that he could not be in possession of a gun at this time as his firearm licence had been revocked, therefore he would in illegal possession of a firearm if one was in his possession.

During the hearing, the attorney declared that her client accepts the guilty verdict.

She reminded the judge that Powell spent nearly five months in custody following his arrest in 2011.

She added that he was also under house arrest for several years.

She urged him to impose a fine based on the social enquiry report submitted.

She added that Powell's family had received multiple death threats throughout the case and this has been a major strain on them.



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