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Boyfriend jailed over girlfriend's night of terror

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — The estranged boyfriend of a terrified woman who jumped 20 feet off a cliff into the sea to escape from him has been jailed by a Supreme Court judge for 11 years.

The woman, who was not named in court, snatched a pistol out of Gavaska Bascome's sweater pocket before leaping into the ocean in the dark and swimming to safety, the court heard.

Bascome, 22, was jailed on Wednesday by Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons after he admitted to handling the firearm. He had initially been charged with attempted murder but prosecutors accepted a plea to the handling offence.

Bascome's lawyer, Jerome Lynch QC, said his client did not accept the version of events the woman gave to police.

But he described Bascome's actions as “very unpleasant” and acknowledged that the victim would have been “frightened out of her wits”.

The court heard that Bascome had driven the woman to an isolated Pembroke parish churchyard on a motorcycle on the evening of May 1 this year.

However, she began to fear for her safety when she noticed he had a gun.

After jumping into the sea, the woman swam west before dumping the gun in a cave and trying to find help.

She returned home that evening but contacted police after hearing a person, whom she believed to be Bascome, outside her property the same night.

Detectives recovered the firearm from the cave and arrested Bascome. The court heard that Bascome, along with two other men, was jailed for five years in 2013 for a machete attack that took place outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club.

The three attacked their victim with machetes and a knife as he lay on the ground, following an argument outside the club.

In the scuffle that ensued, Bascome wielded the knife while the other two struck with machetes. Within months of being released from prison, Bascome was arrested in connection with another violent assault in Hamilton.

At the time he took his girlfriend to the churchyard, he was on bail for that assault charge.

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