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Woman cleared of firearms and ammunition charges

A woman accused of the storage of two guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition was cleared yesterday.

Tonae Perinchief-Leader, 31, was charged with handling a revolver, a shotgun and 485 rounds of mixed ammunition found in two suitcases at her family home in Sandys.

But a Supreme Court jury found her not guilty of four charges by a unanimous verdict after less than half an hour of deliberation.

Ms Perinchief-Leader, who was joined outside the courtroom by supporters, declined to comment on the verdict.

The court earlier heard that on July 6, 2015, police raided a home on Railway Trail in Sandys as part of an operation designed to crack down on a West End gang.

The court heard police believed the house had been used by the defendant’s uncle to store money and drugs.

The uncle was not present when police arrived at around 5.15am to start the search.

Officers reached a bedroom where officers found Ms Perinchief-Leader and her brother and two suitcases which contained several objects wrapped in plastic.

The objects were later revealed to be two firearms – a Taurus revolver and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun – and 485 rounds of mixed ammunition in heat-sealed packages.

The court heard that Ms Perinchief-Leader told police that one of the suitcases was hers before the weapons were revealed.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendant was “harbouring, keeping or concealing” the weapons, which they said were found in her bedroom, with some in a suitcase she admitted was her own.

But Ms Perinchief-Leader insisted in court she had no knowledge of the weapons.

She said that she did not live in her family home, but had returned a few days before the raid because of a fight with her boyfriend.

Ms Perinchief-Leader added the suitcase she had said was hers belonged to her mother and – although she had used both suitcases in the past – she had not used either for years.

The contraband was checked for DNA, but the only sample found was that of an unidentified male.

Ms Perinchief-Leader was arrested in connection with the weapons seizure the day they were discovered, but the case too several years to get to trial.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons dismissed the charges against Ms Perinchief-Leader in 2019 on the ground there was insufficient evidence to convict her.

But the Crown appealed the decision on the basis that Mrs Justice Simmons had been mistaken in law and the evidence was strong enough to potentially secure a conviction.

The Court of Appeal ruled last June that the case should go to trial.

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