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Jan 31, 2014

Gino Peck fined for firearm conviction

Corporal Gino Peck will serve no jail time after he was convicted of possessing prohibited and unlicensed ammunition. Instead, the veteran officer, with twenty-three years of service under his belt, was sentenced to pay fines totally six hundred and fifty dollars for the offences. The sentencing was scheduled for nine this morning, but the decision was handed down at a few minutes before midday, ending a two year ordeal for Peck and his family. But while the story inside the courtroom is big, there was a bigger story outside. Supporters, both civilians and Police, waited anxiously for word from inside the court, and by ten thirty it had all the atmosphere of a full-fledged demonstration. Mike Rudon was at the court all morning and has both stories.

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Mike Rudon, Reporting

The day dawned bright and clear, but there was every possibility that it would not end that way for Corporal Gino Peck, convicted of ammunition offences. He waited for his moment in Court, with his family by his side, and supporters standing by.

 

Peck was taken inside the courtroom at ten. By that time the crowd outside had swelled. There was the requisite chanting, shouting and placards. Not surprisingly, there were political undertones, as well as anger at the Firearm Act…and of course, there were shouts of Free Corporal Peck which could be heard in the courtroom.

 

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, Protester

“We have been standing out here and people have been passing and putting the thumbs up and saying to us we deh with uno, we deh with uno. People are with us, we have no doubt, if you go in the news if you go on social media, if you go on the talk show, if you talk to people everybody is saying it is unfair, it is unjust. That is why my sign says free Peck and jail Penner. You have a situation where you have two members of the house, one the check they deh right there clear, clear as daylight. Penner actually admit, admit to doing something fraudulently, knowingly. And they are still walking free. This is a law I repeat that is unjust, it is unfair, it targets the poor, it captures the vulnerable people in its net and it has got to go.”

 

The sentencing of Peck was delayed as the crowd continued to grow. There was very noticeable Police presence outside, not for usual security duties, but to show support for their brother awaiting sentencing.

 

Inside the court the proceeding was finally underway, with Peck’s attorney, Senior counsel Simeon Sampson, calling three persons to speak on his client’s behalf. Reverend Oliver Ottley, Belize Bank Chairman Lyndon Guiseppe and Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie spoke of Peck’s integrity and exemplary character, as a man and as a Police Officer. At eleven thirty Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith asked for a short recess, and when she returned at eleven fifty, she sentenced Peck to fines, as opposed to being confined. With that, he was a free man, and he was cheered as he and his family went to pay those fines. For the top brass of the Police Department, it is a good thing, though they would have wanted him cleared of all charges.

 

Calbert Flowers

ASP Calbert Flowers, Acting OC, Precinct 2, Belize City Police Department

“Corporal Peck have been working under my direct supervision for a while now. And we have been out here, well me personally have been out supporting him from the inception of this thing and that haven’t changed. We are in full support of Corporal Peck and we are very happy to find out that he will not be serving any jail term.”

 

Mike Rudon

“You think that justice was done?”

 

ASP Calbert Flowers

“I don’t know what to say, I don’t believe that justice have been done but we are happy for the outcome of the sentencing. We will still be in the process of appealing this matter to relieve from these charges altogether.”

 

Linden Flowers

Linden Flowers, Police Officer

“I am satisfied with the outcome of the case as it is because I have been; I have not been satisfied with the events from the time leading up to Gino Peck’s arrest and detention. It could have been dealt with differently. The powers that be at the time at the police department for one reason or the other blinked. Section thirty-three of the firearms act, says that no police officer, this act does not apply to a police officer, member of the Belize Defence Force and other forces that carry or keep. No person should be charged for carrying or keeping ammunition in the execution of their duties. That Gino Peck had six or five thirty-eight rounds, the police department, the weapon in the standing order is thirty-eight.”

 

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

Allen Whylie

“Justice, I believe was served in this matter; I think that the magistrate properly tempered justice with mercy in her decision making. And so I must say that we’re very pleased at the outcome that Mr. Peck was spared a custodial sentence.”

 

Peck emerged at just after midday, family beside him. While the two year ordeal is now over, it has been a long, difficult road. He is thankful, but uncertain of what lies ahead just yet.

 

Gino Peck, Fined for Ammunition Offences

“One thing I want to say is that I have, I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart, every person who have supported me today, including my department, including every member of my family and my friends. I know that when you do honorable things on this earth that it will always be a good end.”

 

Gino Peck

Reporter

“So how is everything with you and your family? Do you plan on continue being a police officer due to this fact?”

 

Gino Peck

“At this time, I cannot say that but all I need to do is regroup with my family and see where it goes from there.”

 

Mike Rudon for News Five.

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5 Responses for “Gino Peck fined for firearm conviction”

  1. Rod says:

    See what happens when unu pack the streets of Belize with people willing to fight for what is right now unu need fu pack the streets of Belize with mo people marching to this pm house make him resign fu thief and corrupt.

  2. Al Rich says:

    Give the man back his job. When you look at all the thieves that are in government this pales in comparison.

    Flowers better watch his mouth, was goes around comes around.

  3. Mercedario Marselino says:

    Him same one will put *c*&&ck* later on the same ones that are supporting him now.

  4. ceo says:

    This was the best decision given the way the whole thing went. He should not have to pay any fines and the whole story should have never gone this route. Police officers have to deal with the criminal eliment every day of their lives and if we the public expect them to do this job they need to be armed at all times. Guns and bullets are the tools of his trade.

    I say rewrit ethe laws to exclude officers and other charges with keeping the peace and those securing or safety to allow them to carry a weapon at all times if they choose to do so.

    Police officers should also be held accountable for this privilege and every time they need to fire their weapon they need to show that it was necessary. The public will respect police much more if they are held to higher standards. The police will also be safer because offenders will know that the police will only shoot when necessary.

    A good decision!

  5. LOL says:

    Now lets get a bigger crowd to have a change in government!!!!

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