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Bermudian jailed in UK for firearm offence

A Bermudian man has been jailed in Nottingham for 6½ years after being found guilty of looking after a gun and ammunition.

Randolph Benjamin, 49, had stored a Colt 45 revolver and 11 rounds of 0.38 calibre bullets inside a shopping bag, according to the Nottingham Post.

Benjamin, formerly of Warwick, is the son of veteran educator Randolph Benjamin Sr, the first black teacher at Saltus Grammar School and the first president of the Bermuda Track and Field Association.

His lawyer told a court in Nottingham that his father's death in 1998 was part of a tragic spiral that culminated in Benjamin leaving the island in 2006.

He also lost the “love of his life” to murder, according to the lawyer, and ended up misusing drugs before heading to Britain for rehabilitation.

In 1995, Benjamin was jailed for four years for stabbing Michael Robson in the head in a fight at the Ice Queen in Paget.

In court last Friday, Benjamin, of Forest Fields, was given concurrent sentences on two charges of possessing a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a certificate.

The items were found in the shopping bag and inside two separate plastic bags which contained Benjamin's fingerprints.

Benjamin had claimed he did not put the bag there and it had nothing to do with him. He said he had no knowledge of the items and someone else had put them there, telling the jury his DNA would not be found on the firearm.

He also said he had lived at the house for about 12 months and spent a lot of time chilling out, having a drink on occasions and making a joint of cannabis.

On September 29 last year, he said, he had been at home with his landlady when he saw police coming towards the property and greeted them at the back door, co-operating fully by giving his name.

He said the majority of clothing at the house was in his room and his landlady helped him out with his laundry.

Benjamin accepted a set of scales and lock knives in a jacket at the house belonged to him.

But he was adamant the shopping bag was not his and nothing to do with him.

He was convicted by the jury unanimously, with prosecutor Gareth Gimson telling the court: “We don't seek to say he was a sophisticated, high-ranking villain. The Crown seek to say he was sitting on it for someone else.”

Matthew Smith, the lawyer representing Benjamin, said the gun was not loaded and there was no evidence it had been used.

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Published March 20, 2017 at 4:02 pm (Updated March 21, 2017 at 7:29 am)

Bermudian jailed in UK for firearm offence

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