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Man who handled gun is jailed for 10 years

A St George’s man described by prosecutors as a gang associate was jailed for ten years on gun charges.

Rickai Dickinson, who admitted handling a firearm when he did not have a licence to do so, must serve at least half the sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.

Supreme Court heard that the weapon was determined by forensics testing to have been used in the unsolved gun murder of George Lynch in 2010.

Dickinson, whose nickname is “White Rat”, was caught by police on June 5, 2011 as he fled from an address along Mullet Bay Road, St George’s. A firearm was recovered from the vicinity which Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves described as “bathed” in Dickson’s DNA.

The 27-year-old Duke of Clarence Street resident denied possessing four bullets on the same date that charge will lie on file. He pleaded guilty to handling the gun shortly before his trial was scheduled to start on Monday.

Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney described how, on the date of the arrest, a gathering of young men scattered as a police patrol drove past. Dickinson was spotted slipping through a gap in the fence onto Wellington Slip Road. He was arrested after a partially-burned joint was found in his hand, and a search uncovered more cannabis wrapped in a dollar bill.

Shortly after, police found a black gun wrapped in a T-shirt inside a bag in the grounds of the Mullet Bay Road residence. Dickinson denied knowledge of the gun when he was taken back to the scene.

The .45 calibre gun contained four live rounds, with one hollow-point bullet ready in the gun’s breach.

Mr Mahoney said the weapon was sent to a Miami-based forensics laboratory. Swabs from the gun matched DNA samples taken from Dickinson; the black T-shirt it had been wrapped in carried the DNA of two others as well.

The court heard also that forensics linked the gun with the weapon used to murder Mr Lynch, who had been visiting a friend at a Midland Heights Crescent address on May 5, 2010 when he was gunned down. The 40-year-old father, a Jamaican national who had recently married a Bermudian woman, is believed to have had no link at all with the Island’s gang culture.

Dickinson was arrested in July of last year when he answered police bail. His BlackBerry was seized, and found to contain recent images of him in the company of gang members, gesturing with gang signs. Dickinson’s tattoos, which include the letters ESC on the side of his neck, also link him with the East Side Crew, the court was told.

At the time of his arrest, Dickinson was on probation for a 2007 robbery charge.

Defence lawyer Craig Attridge described his client as a troubled man, the product of a broken home, who had been living with his infant daughter and her mother and trying to turn his life around. He was working as a labourer and truck driver for the Corporation of St George.

Mr Attridge said Dickinson made a “stupid” decision just a few days before his arrest, to carry the knapsack for a friend who told him to keep it until it could be delivered in the parking lot of a convenience store.

“He found himself unable to refuse a favour,” Mr Attridge said, adding that Dickinson had not known the bag contained a gun, which he had touched by mistake when he discovered it. He also denied knowing the gun was in working order.

Rising before sentencing, Dickinson said: “First and foremost, I would like to apologise to my daughter, and apologise to the court. This is a major setback for me. I had just got things together, and I was looking forward to my future.”

Dickinson asked the court for mercy, telling Justice Greaves he had missed seeing his daughter’s first step.

Unmoved, Justice Greaves told Dickinson that the gun had been “found to be bathed in his DNA”.

“This court takes into account that this defendant has several previous convictions for violence,” the judge continued. “These include grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and robberies.”

Consorting with gang members while on probation showed “real disregard for the law and for the opportunity that he was given”, Justice Greaves continued.

Dickinson was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, with time spent in custody taken into account. An additional order means he will not be eligible for parole until halfway through his sentence.

As he was led away, Dickinson touched fists briefly with a man in the court gallery.

Another man called out: “I’ll be 60 by the time I see you.”

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Published March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am (Updated March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am)

Man who handled gun is jailed for 10 years

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