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Man caught with gun loses sentence appeal

A man caught with a gun linked to three murders has lost an appeal to have his 14-year sentence reduced.

While defence lawyer Marc Daniels argued that the sentence was “manifestly excessive”, the Court of Appeal found that it was difficult to see how a lower sentence could be imposed in the circumstances.

Ramano Mills, 28, of Seawalls Drive, pleaded guilty last year to possessing a loaded Smith and Wesson 669 and 244g of cannabis with intent to supply.

He was arrested on June 18, 2013, when police attended a Broom Street, Sandys home to arrest a separate man for breaching his bail conditions.

Mills had run out of the house clutching a plastic bag after police surrounded the building.

During the ensuing struggle he was seen to reach towards his ankle, where officers saw a metal object they initially believed to be a knife.

He was tased by the officers, but continued to try to reach for the object in his sock until the weapon — a 9mm handgun — fell to the ground.

The firearm was forensically linked to the murders of Dekimo “Purple” Martin, Colford Ferguson and Lorenzo Stovell, along with the attempted murder of Randy Lightbourne.

Mills admitted possessing the firearm, but denied the suggestion that he was a gang member and claimed he was too drunk to remember much of the incident.

Puisne Judge Charles- Etta Simmons sentenced Mills to 12 years behind bars for the possession of the firearm and the ammunition, and a further two years for the possession of drugs, ordering both sentences to run consecutively.

However during a hearing before the Court of Appeal, Mr Daniels argued that the total sentence should not exceed 12 years.

According to a written judgement by the Court, Mr Daniels argued that Mrs Justice Simmons could have reduced the firearms sentence below the statutory minimum of 12 years imprisonment and imposed a lower sentence for the charge of possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

However the judgment said that while Mr Daniels had made every possible argument, it was difficult for the court to see how the judge could have appropriately issued a lesser sentence.

It stated: “The plea of guilty was very late in the day.

“The appellant’s remorse was extremely limited.

“The sentence of 12 years for the firearms offence was the mandatory minimum and the judge in the circumstances reduced what would otherwise have been a sentence of three years imprisonment consecutively for possession of cannabis with intent to supply in a prohibited zone to two years.

“In these circumstances we have reached the conclusion that although the sentence was a severe one, it was not manifestly excessive.

“Those who choose to possess firearms in circumstances such as the appellant did in this case are inevitably going to face severe sentences. The appeal is accordingly dismissed.”

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