December 2, 2020

Manderson’s flare gun found by jury to be firearm

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IMG_8143 Law ctscrMarcus Steve Manderson (24) was found guilty, on Friday (15), of possession of an unlicensed firearm by a jury of five men and two women.

Manderson now faces the possibility of a minimum sentence of 10 years in jail as it is only under very exceptional circumstances that a judicial authority may use their discretion to reduce the sentence.

The firearm in question was a flare gun but the jury heard from a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) officer that it could be modified and in fact had been so done. A bullet had been fired from it under test conditions.

However, two firearm experts called as witnesses disagreed saying the weapon did not have the capability of firing a bullet when the RCIPS officers recovered it.

Manderson had denied the weapon found by the police was a lethal barreled weapon and also denied it belonged to him.

In the early hours of 5 February 2012 in Windsor Park, RCIPS Uniform Support Group officers spotted Manderson and called for him to stop. He ran off and they gave chase. Two officers saw Manderson throw a dark object over a fence into a yard before they caught up with him when he fell. He was then handcuffed and led back to the place where he had thrown the object. The area was searched and a few minutes later a flare gun was recovered.

Manderson’s story was that the weapon was not his and he had never had it in his possession. He had only thrown “a spiff” (ganja) over the fence whilst he was being chased. He had not been running away from the police but from another man who had a gun. He had been trying to stop an argument between this man with the gun and a second man.

Manderson’s defense brought forward a witness who supported Manderson’s assertion that there was a second man with a gun.

Even though DNA evidence found on two parts of the gun belonged to Manderson the Defense argued it had been transferred to the weapon during the arrest and recovery of it.

Manderson accused the RCIPS officers in the case of hassling him earlier that same evening claiming they had given him weed to sell a few days before. The weed had come from the police station and because he had smoked the weed himself and not sold it the officers were angry at him. They wanted money he didn’t have.

After the verdict by the jury the judge said there was no evidence to support Manderson’s allegations against the police officers who had emphatically denied them.

Manderson was ordered to the custody of HMP Northward and then to be brought back to the court to be sentenced on 4th April. The judge also ordered a social enquiry report.

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