Cruise tourist fined for live ammunition

A 36-year-old tourist caught with five rounds of live ammunition was fined $800 yesterday after she begged the courts to let her return home.

Julie Martin, a real estate agent from Kentucky, said she had forgotten about the bullets discovered in her handbag by an X-ray machine as she returned to her cruise ship.

Martin admitted having the 9mm rounds without a licence in Dockyard on Monday when she appeared in Magistrates' Court this morning.

The court heard that Martin, who had won the cruise to Bermuda, left the Anthem of the Seas twice on Monday and took her handbag with her both times.

Cindy Clarke, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, said the bullets were discovered when she returned to the ship the second time.

Ms Clarke said Martin told officers that she had put the ammunition in her bag when she moved to a new office several weeks ago and forgot it was there.

Martin told police that she carried a firearm in the US because she had been threatened on her job.

Martin said in court it was common for people to carry a firearm in Kentucky.

She added: “I do apologise for being so negligent. I am not typically as forgetful as that.”

“I beg that my husband and I get to go home because our two babies need us.”

Defence lawyer Richard Horseman said Martin had no intention of bringing the ammunition to Bermuda.

He added: “This was a complete accident on her part.”

Mr Horseman said Martin had already spent a night in jail and argued the offence did not require a prison sentence.

He added that Martin had now missed the return leg of her cruise but Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said that was her own fault.

Mr Tokunbo, however, agreed that a prison sentence was not required but emphasised that the penalty had to be a deterrent.

He added that the bullets could have posed a risk to Bermuda.

Mr Tokunbo said: “Some people out there would like to get those five live rounds.”

Mr Tokunbo fined Martin $800 and ordered her to pay the fine before she left the island.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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