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Chinnery’s appeal of 2016 firearm conviction dismissed

Chinnery during a court appearance in 2013

Justice Louise Esther Blenman has dismissed a court application from Selvin Chinnery who sought to appeal his conviction in the 2016 matter where he was sentenced to five years at Her Majesty’s Prison for possession of a firearm.

The Court of Appeal judge, however, upheld Chinery’s appeal of a second related conviction for possession of explosives. Chinnery had been sentenced to three months imprisonment for that offence.

Judgement

Prior to Justice Blenman’s decision, Chinnery had filed an appeal on three main premises.

These premises were whether the magistrate in the 2016 case erred when she accepted Chinnery’s guilty pleas for the two offences, whether the pistol in question fell within the statutory definition of a firearm, and whether the ammunition could have been properly charged under the explosives ordinance for possession of explosives.

The judge ruled that there was no basis on which she could form the view that the magistrate erred when accepting the guilty pleas. She further reasoned that there was no basis to believe that the pistol did not qualify as a firearm because it was in a corroded state.

What the court heard had happened

Court documents stated that on April 12, 2016, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force searched Chinnery’s home and uncovered a grey case containing a rusty firearm and three rounds of .22 ammunition. 

After the findings were presented to him, Chinnery said the case was given to him by a friend and he had forgotten about the firearm.

He was then arrested, taken to the Road Town Police Station and interviewed under caution and charged with carrying a firearm without a licence and possession of explosives.

The accused man later pleaded guilty to the offences on the advice of his attorney.

Attorney at law Patrick Thompson represented Chinnery.

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