Judge: Deal swiftly with gunmen

A High Court judge has urged the prosecution to move swiftly to deal with firearm matters so that sentences on offenders can have the desired effect.

Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell made the call as she noted that were it not for the almost 15-year delay in one gunman’s matter, he would have been sent to jail instead of receiving a fine as he had a previous conviction for ammunition.

“The reckless and wanton use of firearms continues to have a devastating effect on society, causing a number of deaths and serious injuries to citizens, those involved in the warfare and to innocent bystanders,” she said.

“There is a clear need to protect society from misguided and callous youths who disregard the sanctity of life. There is an equally compelling need to use sentences with a view of general and specific deterrence.

“The delay in prosecuting the matter credited the now convicted man with a substantial reduction. Given the scourge of firearm offences, they must be prosecuted more speedily so that sentences imposed by the courts can have the deterrent effect that is intended,” the judge said. (HLE)

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