Judge frees St Catherine nurse of gun charges

September 30, 2022

A St Catherine nurse was freed from gun charges on Thursday after the court accepted she had no knowledge that a firearm was in a bag with clothes she was carrying for a relative.

The judge upheld the submissions by the defence lawyers for Sidonie Ford, 32, and ruled there was nothing in Ford's conduct which suggested that she had knowledge of the gun.

It contained several rounds of ammunition.

Ford was represented by King's Counsel Peter Champagnie and attorney-at-law Samoi Campbell, who challenged the evidence led by the prosecution that she was aware of the presence of the gun in a bag with the clothes that she was taking to her brother.

The prosecution led evidence that on September 22, 2021, the police, acting on information, intercepted a minibus in the vicinity of a gas station in Spanish Town, St Catherine. Ford and other persons were passengers in the bus.

Police officials testified that a garbage bag was found in Ford's possession. When asked what was in the bag, Ford said her brother had asked her to collect some clothes from his girlfriend's house because they had separated.

The bag was searched and a gun was found wrapped in a sweater, along with other items of clothing. One of the policemen said Ford was unable to give any information concerning the whereabouts of her brother.

Under cross-examination, Champagnie challenged the policeman's account of what had transpired.

The policeman admitted that Ford had given information about her brother's aunt who later visited the police station. The policeman also admitted that the aunt gave a statement at the police station concerning the whereabouts of Ford's brother.

Champagnie suggested to the policeman that Ford, neither in anything said nor in actions, brought any suspicion on herself that she was aware that the firearm was in the bag.

A school vice principal testified to Ford's good character.

- Barbara Gayle

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