Guns in toy case back in court

| 31/10/2010

(CNS): Following a mistrial in March of this year Cassandra Bodden (26) will be facing a jury for the second time on Monday as the case against her for the importation of firearms and ammunition’s returns to court.Bodden is charged with attempting to import four guns and 420 rounds of ammunition which were found hidden in a model car. Justice Howard Cooke ordered a re-trial when the jury of four men and three women could not agree on a verdict. The prosecution states that Bodden knew about the contents of the package and claimed ignorance to cover her tracks. Bodden however has protested her innocence saying she did not know what was in the package and had made it abundantly clear she did not know to a number of law enforcement officials. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

When Bodden went to clear the package through a local shipping agent and customs, she did so in the company of a police officer. In the previous trial defence counsel Ben Tonner claimed that his client should never have been charged as she simply did not know about the guns and had alerted the authorities on several occasions to the fact that she was not expecting anything from the United States, which is where the package originated.

During the trial Tonner said that the arrest and charges against Bodden sent a terrible message to the community that by being honest people could find themselves in the same position — in court facing a risk to their liberty. The lawyer stated that if his client had remained quiet the inspection would never have happened and the guns could have made their way on to the street.
However the crown contends that Bodden knowingly imported the four firearms, described as a .40 Smith and Wesson, a 9mm Ruger, a .45 Glock model 21, and a 9mm Arcus as well as 420 bullets, in April 2009. Prosecutors say Bodden appeared to have knowledge of the content of the package without having been informed by the shipping agent and her failure to turn up for a planned inspection pointed to her guilt.

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