Man who shot himself jailed for six years

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A 24-year-old man who shot himself in the hand by accident with a home-made gun has been jailed for six years.

Shayne James was earlier convicted by a jury of two charges — handling a firearm and discharging it.

Larry Mussenden, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that Crown counsel Karen King had requested a six to eight-year prison sentence, while defence lawyer Elizabeth Christopher asked for four to six years.

Mr Mussenden added that Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves had taken into account James’s age, character references and reports.

Mr Justice Greaves also considered “that there was a marked difference between the home-made firearm and manufactured firearms that wreak havoc on the community”.

Mr Mussenden said the sentences of six years on each charge imposed on Thursday would run concurrently. He added that time spent in custody would be taken into account.

James was remanded in custody in September last year after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of the offences, which happened in August 2016.

The court heard that James arrived at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital at about 1.20pm with a single gunshot wound to his left hand. He claimed he had been sitting on Fentons Drive in Pembroke when a man approached him and pointed a gun in his face.

Detectives from the Serious Crime Unit launched an investigation but their findings cast doubt on James’s version of events.

Prosecutors said at the trial that James was evasive when asked about the incident and unable to provide officers with a description of the alleged shooter.

A police canine unit was sent to the scene after James was questioned in hospital and officers found a pool of blood on Fentons Drive and a spring coil in the blood trail.

Police followed the trail and found a home-made firearm — a pipe gun — hidden in a banana tree near by.

They also discovered a bullet head in a wall, which appeared to have lodged there after it was fired.

James was arrested the day after the incident and questioned by police. Forensic samples were also taken and an empty Winchester .357 cartridge was found inside the weapon.

Tests showed that samples found on the pipe gun matched James’s DNA and he was charged with handling and discharging a firearm.

James denied both charges, but a jury found him guilty by a majority of 10-2.

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