Nursing student freed of gun and ammunition charges

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Thirty-two-year-old nursing student, Sidonie Ford, was on Thursday found not guilty of gun and ammunition charges at the end of a trial in the Supreme Court

Ford, of a Spanish Town, St Catherine address, was arrested during a vehicle checkpoint in September 2021.

The prosecution led with evidence that on September 22, 2021, the police acting on information, intercepted a minibus in the vicinity of AML Service Station in Spanish Town in which Ford and others were passengers.

Police officers gave evidence that a garbage bag was found in Ford's possession.

Evidence presented in court suggested that Ford was unaware of the contents of the bag. When questioned about the bag's content, Ford said that she had been asked by her brother to collect some clothes from his girlfriend’s home with whom he had recently separated.

The bag was searched and a .38 revolver with several rounds of ammunition was found wrapped in a sweater along with other male clothing.

One of the police testified that Ford was unable to give any information concerning the whereabouts of her brother. However, under cross-examination, one of Ford’s attorneys, Peter Champagnie, KC, challenged the policeman’s account.

The policeman admitted that Ford had given information about the aunt of her brother and that the aunt did, in fact, turn up at the police station where she gave a statement concerning the whereabouts of the brother.

Champagnie also suggested to the officer that Ford, neither in anything said nor actions, brought any suspicion on herself that she was aware that a firearm was in the bag. Ford’s neighbour, a vice principal also testified as a character witness.

At the end of the trial, the Judge found that there was nothing in the conduct of Ford which suggested that she had knowledge of the firearm and ammunition in the bag.

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