Local man dodges jail over toy gun

| 08/06/2018 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Charles Walton (20) was given a chance Thursday to turn his life around, when he was given a twelve-month suspended sentence for the possession of an imitation firearm with intent to assault, which he claimed was a plastic dart gun. Walton was charged after he was caught on CCTV riding around central George Town on a moped last June with what appeared to be a handgun. The weapon was never recovered but Walton had admitted to the police that he had had a toy gun because he had been shot at by a group of men who chased him from a bar in Mary Street earlier that night.

The court heard that when he was arrested, Walton told officers that he had been in the Rooftop Bar when three other men, whom he knew, had threatened to kill him and one had pulled a knife on him.

As a result he had fled the bar, jumping over the second floor balcony onto the street, with his would-be assailants on his tail. He said that he heard shots fired behind him and he kept running. He said that having shaken them off, he went to Shedden Road, where he knew the toy gun was hidden, so that he could intimidate the men who had threatened him.

The police had been called that night by others about gunshots being fired. They had viewed the CCTV and spotted Walton but they also saw another man, Joshua “Patchy” Ebanks (25), with a gun on the CCTV earlier in the evening, matching what Walton told them.

Ebanks was charged but the judge found that the video evidence was of such poor quality, the case could not safely be considered by the jury and threw out the charges. By this time, however, Walton had already pleaded guilty to possessing the toy gun.

The court heard that despite being only 20 years old, Walton already has a growing rap sheet, which includes a street mugging where he stole a woman’s handbag, among more petty crimes. A social inquiry report revealed that Walton had faced a very troubling childhood after he was abandoned when he was two years old by his mother and brought up by his grandfather, who died when he was twelve. Walton was then placed at the Bonaventure Boys Home.

It was there that things began to go wrong for the young boy, who had learning difficulties and no family support and was introduced to drugs and alcohol at the home. The court also heard how social workers had tried to contact the relatives that he still has following his arrest in this case but none of them responded.

Speaking on his behalf, defence attorney Jonathan Huges, said that Walton had been the victim of gang-related threats. Places where he stayed had been shot at in the past and he had wrongly believed that getting the toy gun to intimidate the people threatening him was acting in self-defence. Kumar said that while this was not an excuse for his client’s actions, it explained them and he had done the right thing by admitting his crime.

Given a chance to explain himself, Walton told the judge it was a “terrifying night” but he accepted his response was not the right way to go about it and he would not do anything like that again. “I want to change and improve my life and not be in this predicament again,” he told the court, as he apologised.

Justice Greaves appeared to be sympathetic to Walton, and despite accepting that the use of firearms, including imitation ones, was a serious matter in small jurisdictions, he said justice needed to be tempered with mercy.

In this case, he said, given the circumstances, which included jumping off a second floor balcony to flee the men chasing him, reasonable people might think that his reaction was not so unreasonable that he should have to go to jail immediately.

However, as the judge released Walton, who had been on remand, he pointed out that he needed to be careful because his assailants now knew he had been armed only with a toy gun.

Tags:

Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So they really think it was a toy gun? This place is a joke!!




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  2. im tired says:

    yawn




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Per the last sentence, could one interpret that the judge suggested that he go out and get a real gun?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    It sounds reasonable to me that some guys who were chasing you and shooting at you with real guns would get scared and run away when you return on a moped with a toy gun.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    A disgrace. The 10 year sentence is being flouted time and time again. The criminal deserves serious jail time.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    The guy should get 1 pretend year in a make believe prison.




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  7. cess pita says:

    He got away with this one. Why was he not asked to prove it was a “toy” gun by producing the “toy”.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Sure glad that gun amnesty is in effect.. They can shoot and kill Charles then get rid of the gun by turning it in no questions asked. SMH




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