Prison for man who claimed gun was for protection
A man who had an illegal gun for his protection was on Tuesday jailed for two years and six months.
Jonathan Philips, 32, pleaded guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition at his arraignment before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.
Police arrested him on February after they found a pistol loaded with eight bullets hidden near his groin.
Defense lawyer Bjorn Ferguson said that Phillips lived in the crime-ridden area of Pinewood Gardens and did not have faith in the authorities to protect him.
Ferguson said that Phillips operated a car wash and was the sole provider for his children, ages four and 10.
He asked the court to be as lenient as possible, given Phillip’s early guilty plea and that it was his first conviction.
Ferguson-Pratt took all those factors into consideration. However, Ferguson-Pratt said that the “court must send a message that possession of a firearm is unacceptable and can never be condoned”.
Phillips’ sentence will be extended by another year if he fails to pay a fine of $4,000 before the end of his term of two years and six months.
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