Adapted flare gun gets man seven years

| 30/01/2013

(CNS): Following his guilty plea last November, Seymour Patrick Ramsey (38) was sentenced to the mandatory minimum of seven years for the possession of an unlicensed firearm Tuesday.  Ramsay appeared before Justice Charles Quin in connection with an offence that occurred last July, when he was caught with an adapted flare gun. In his sentencing ruling Justice Quin said the defendant had made determined and persistent efforts to evade detection. When apprehended, Ramsay was verbally abusive and made deliberate attempts to prevent the police from recovering the gun. From the evidence put before him, the judge found that flare gun was still a firearm, and despite efforts by Ramsay's lawyer to avoid the mandatory minimum sentence, the judge stuck to seven years jail time.

“I cannot find anyexceptional circumstances, either for the offence or the offender of this case,” Justice Quin said as he made his sentencing order.

Ramsay was apprehended after police were informed that a man was in possession of a firearm. Officers from the USG were dispatched to Welly’s Cool Spot for observation purposes. Once seen leaving the vicinity with two other people in a vehicle, the officers alerted Ramsay with their emergency lights. He made several attempts to evade the police, and to discard the firearm, the crown explained as they set out the details of the case for the court. But after being chased on-foot, the defendant fell and surrendered to the police and a modified flare gun, along with a small quantity of ganja, was recovered around the area. 

When handing down the sentence Justice Quin took into consideration Ramsay’s guilty plea as well as the fact that he has no history of firearms or violent offences and gave him the full discount.

During defense counsel submissions Guy Dilliway-Parr stated that the defendant was a middle aged man who is able to contribute to society. “He is no youngster embarking on a criminal career,” he added.

The lawyer said the defendant had been given the weapon by another person and out of curiosity he had tried to fire it at the beach, however; it did not work. Dilliway-Parry also submitted that there was no evidence to support that the defendant had any intent to engage in a criminal offence or any underlying criminality in this matter.

Defense counsel also argued that there were exceptional circumstances relating to the offence which justified not imposing the minimum sentence of seven years of incarceration. This included describing the weapon as a “contraption” and being in a very poor state of repair.

The firearm recovered by the police was an Orion Flare Gun with a chamber for a shotgun cartridge bolted on and after being tested by authorized firearms officer Anthony Stewart, it was recorded that the weapon did not fire any of the four 12-gauge shotgun cartridges it was found with. Officer Stewart suggested that it was old ammunition because after two attempts at placing new ammunition from the RCIPS armory into it the weapon fired. Stewart also suggested that the weapon fell within the definition of a lethal barreled weapon.

Nevertheless, Justice Quin found that the weapon was a firearm and the judge imposed the seven year minimum sentence with time spent in custody to be taken into consideration. In addition, Justice Quinn sentenced Ramsay to three months imprisonment to run concurrently with the seven year term for the ganja found in Ramsay’s possession during the incident.

The judge also commended the officers involved in the case who had recovered another illegal firearm from the islands’ streets, despite the efforts of the defendant to evade the police.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    so unfair

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't get it man gets seven years for flare gun, another sentenced 12 years for gun, then reduced to 9 years……can someone explain this?????

  2. the truth says:

    In the United States you get caught with a gun – probation or 3 years (saw signs on a train stating this)

    In England its practically the same

    in Canada its practically the same

    Why do you people insist on being so crucial of Cayman's judicial system when the majority of the world (excluding places like singapore and thailand) have very lax punishments. Where isdo you know that a first time offender caught with a firearm recieves a manadatory decade in jail?

    • Anonymous says:

      UK law states –

      The mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years' imprisonment for an offender aged 21 or over and 5 years' detention in a young offender institute for those aged 18, 19 and 20 at the date of conviction. Offences that attract the minimum sentence are triable only on indictment (Section 288 Criminal Justice Act 2003, whichalso amends Schedule 6 to the Firearms Act 1968).

      Sixteen and 17 year olds are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years and so the case must be committed to Crown Court for trial. The youth court has no jurisdiction to try such cases (section 24(1B) Magistrates Courts Act 1980).



  3. Anonymous says:

    While I am thrilled that this man has recieved 7 years for what he did, isn't it ridiculous to think that the other guy who just a few weeks ago was sentences to 10 years for possessing an ACTUAL firearm only got 3 years extra? What exactly is the judicial system doing?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me that he was foolish and abusive rather than a criminal.

    At his age he had no criminal record and there is no suggestion that he had any intention of using this pathetic imitation of a firearm to commit a crime.

    He should have got a smack on the wrist and been told to smarten up.



    • a gun is a gun says:

       "pathetic imitation of a firearm"

      You clearly don't understand the nature of the weapon. An adapted flare gun will fire shotgun rounds. If you get hit by one of these rounds from close range the outcome isn't pretty. It would be similar to being hit by a sawn off shotgun.

    • Anonymous says:

      No criminal record! Since when? Check back to see where Mr. Ramsey has spent the better part of at least the last 15 years.

  5. Anondarass says:

    Guns cannot kill without ammunition, but ammunition can kill without a gun.
    The minimum sentence should be 10 years for EACH count of the ammo to run consecutively.
    Better yet, a one-way fishing trip to 12 mile bank.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done your Honour. In these liberal times we need a strong justice system whereby the criminal not the victim is punished!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Open your eyes my people and see badness dose not pay! If getting two jobs is what it takes to make end meet so be it! Freedom is priceless!


    • The Dude in the Chair says:

      Well said.

      • a gun is a gun says:

        Modified flare gun or not, he should have gotten 10 years for it and 2 years for every round found by the police. It is a lethal weapon and his sentence should have been 16years! What reason does one have to carry such a weapon? Commiting robberies or worse murder? In my opinion he got off very lightly. Please start to make examples out of these gun toting idiots, throw the book at them and let them rot!!