Man jailed for 12 years for handling gun
A Pembroke man whose DNA was found on the trigger of a gun has been jailed for 12 years for handling the firearm.
Dameko Dublin, 20, was arrested in January 2012 — two months after a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver and five rounds of ammunition were discovered by police near the former Clay House Inn on North Shore Road in Devonshire.
The gun, which was wrapped in a sock, had been placed on top of a rear wheel of a car parked a few yards from the abandoned building near the Gravity nightclub.
At his trial last month, the prosecution maintained that the weapon had been stashed there in the early hours of November 5, 2011 by Dublin and others in his “crew” before they entered the club, where they knew they would be frisked by security staff.
When police units responding to an unrelated disturbance at the club arrived on the scene, they spotted two of Dublin’s friends near the parked car acting suspiciously and both men were arrested. The gun was found shortly after, although Dublin was not linked to the weapon until DNA test results were obtained weeks later.
One of those arrested at the time, Darrion Simons, was jailed for ten years after pleading guilty to the charge just before his trial got underway last month. Dublin maintained his innocence but was found guilty by a trial jury.
At his sentencing in Supreme Court One, prosecutor Carrington Mahoney asked that Dublin be jailed for between 12 and 14 years, pointing out that gun crime on the Island had escalated in recent years, and criminals needed to be deterred.
But Dublin’s attorney, Elizabeth Christopher, asked that her client, who has recently become a father, be jailed for a maximum of ten years.
She explained to the court that Dublin had been raised by his grandmother who had “done her best to instil in him moral values”, but that he had been the victim of bullying at school and eventually succumbed to “the negative effects of peer pressure”.
”He was the victim of physical and verbal abuse as a young man,” Ms Christopher said, adding that Dublin’s father had died in tragic circumstances, resulting in him needing bereavement counselling.
But Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves was critical of the attitude of young men who disregarded opportunities but instead “choose to take the road to Westgate”.
“I have long believed that, except for the defence or enhancement of humanity, imprisonment is a colossal waste of human life,” Judge Greaves said.
“It makes it worse when young men continue to place themselves in this predicament. This pursuit of criminal behaviour makes absolutely no useful contribution to the advancement of mankind. A nation built up on the long history of the sweat of our ancestors and you haven’t added a single block to the building, but feel qualified and justified in the pursuit of the destruction of it.
“Why do you have to travel the broadway of destruction rather than the narrow path of elevation? Some say it is because you are disenfranchised — you are without words or opportunities.
“I have not seen a single case in which I have been able to form any support for that view. This is a nation of opportunities — so much so that people come from the far seas to tap them — including me.”
Judge Greaves sentenced Dublin to 12 years imprisonment, with an order that he serve at least half that sentence before being eligible for parole.
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