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Soldier, civilians on gun, ammo charges remanded till next year

Mark Anthony, Lance Corporal Aaron Eastman (green pants) and Ryan Escott (red pants) at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

A Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Lance Corporal and three civilians, in whose possession guns and ammunition were allegedly found,  were Tuesday refused bail, citing the need to ensure public safety.

Pleading not guilty to the offence were 33-year old Lance Corporal Aaron Eastman of 148 Grove Housing Scheme, Mark Anthony, 22 of Lot 1238 Canje Pheasant Place, South Ruimveldt, Upholster Andrew Davis Escott of 155 Middle Road La Penitence, and 37-year-old carpenter Ryan Escott.

They were remanded to prison until January 6, 2016 when they would appear before City Magistrate, Judy Latchman.

Police alleged that they committed the following offences on December 5, 2015 at Robb Street, Georgetown:

1.     Being in possession of seven ammunition without being the holder of a firearm license

2.     Being in possession of two firearms without being licensed firearm holders

Police Prosecutor, Deniro Jones  said citizens saw the four men in the vehicle acting suspiciously  and called the police, He said Eastman was wearing a black hood at the time he was arrested.

Jones said the guns were found under the front passenger seat.

Lance Corporal Eastman’s lawyer, Mark Waldron told the court that his client is the father of two and a serving member of the GDF for the past 10 years. Waldron said his client had no knowledge of the weapons and ammunition as he was the driver of the vehicle and the items were found in the rear of the said vehicle.

Andrew Davis Escott’s lawyer, Adrian Thompson said his client was merely a passenger and had no knowledge of the guns and munitions.

Ryan Escott’s lawyer, Peter Hugh, said his client has no pending matters before the court but that he had previously been convicted and jailed for robbery under arms.

Anthony, who was not represented by a lawyer, told the court that he never admitted to being in the vehicle with the other accused persons. He claimed that police beat the other accused persons forcibly admit that he was with them.