Wed | May 27, 2020

Sentencing in MoBay 19-gun heist put off

Published:Friday | March 20, 2020 | 12:14 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Courtney Morgan and Pauline Smith, who recently pleaded guilty in relation to the theft of 19 guns and several rounds of ammunition from a security company they operate in Montego Bay, had their sentencing put off yesterday until September 11, in order for them to get a new lawyer.

Morgan and Smith, who were charged along with their daughter, Tara Morgan, were scheduled to be sentenced yesterday in the St James Parish Court. However, presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small rescheduled the sentencing hearing after Tara Morgan’s lawyer, Peter Champagnie, revealed that the other defendants’ lawyer, Henry McCurdy, would no longer be representing them.

“Mr McCurdy indicated to me that he is no longer in the matter for the parents. Also, a social enquiry report was ordered for them (Smith and Courtney Morgan), but that was not done,” said Champagnie.

“I would ask if the matter could be revisited on September 11. It would be for sentencing of Ms Smith and Mr Morgan on that date, and it would also be for setting a trial date for Tara Morgan,” Champagnie added.

Wong-Small then extended all three defendants’ bails to September 11, at which time Tara Morgan’s matter will be mentioned. Smith and Courtney Morgan will be expected to retain the services of a new lawyer ahead of their sentencing hearing on that date.

The Morgans and Smith, who are the directors of the security company from which the weapons were stolen last May, were charged with negligent loss of firearms and operating a private security entity without being the holder of a valid licence.

According to reports, between May 23 and 24, 2019, thieves broke into the Ironshore-based offices of the security company and stole the weapons and ammunition, which the directors claimed were securely locked away, plus electronic equipment and three motorcycles.

Courtney Morgan reportedly told the police that he had securely locked the office before leaving on Labour Day. When he returned the following day, he discovered that several padlocks on the grilles and doors had been broken and that the metal safe containing the firearms had been forced open and the guns and ammunition stolen.

WHAT WAS STOLEN

- Fifteen .38 revolvers

- Four shotguns

- A quantity of 12-gauge ammunition

- A quantity of .38 ammunition

- Three motorcycles

- Two desktop computers

- A CCTV recording device