Crime — 28 February 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Shane Budram, 37, beats ammunition rap

Shane Budram, 37, a resident of Wagner’s Lane who was charged with one count of keeping ammunition without a gun license, walked out of Magistrate Dale Cayetano’s courtroom free of the charge, after his attorney, Dickie Bradley, made a no-case-to-answer submission.

When Bradley had finished with his no-case submission, Magistrate Cayetano remarked, “The evidence does not make any sense…”

Cayetano added, “If you have bullets, for example in the case of Budram, and you saw the police from a 20 to 25-yards distance, the normal man would have either thrown them away or disposed of them in some way.”

The Magistrate also noted that only one police officer came to testify that he had found the bullets. Why was his evidence not corroborated by another police officer, the magistrate questioned, before he accepted the no-case submission.

On November 15, 2012, Police Constable #606 Brenford Middleton, an officer assigned to the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG), arrested Budram and charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition after he allegedly found four .38mm rounds in the right back pocket of his pants.

Middleton, when he made the bust, was on patrol with two Belize Defence Force soldiers in the Wagner’s Lane and Berkeley Street area.

According to Middleton, he saw Budram and another man sitting at the junction of Wagner’s Lane and South Street from about 25 yards away.

He said he approached Budram and when he patted him down, he felt an object in the pocket of his pants. He testified that when he put his hand in Budram’s pocket, he found four .38 caliber rounds of ammunition and a cell phone.

But the prosecution’s case was not helped by Middleton’s testimony that there were two BDF soldiers present when he searched Budram and made the bust.

Budram had maintained his innocence, and told PC Middleton on the day he was arrested that, “da you plant the bullets ina mi pocket.”

Middleton, however, did not tell the court that Budram had insisted that it was he (Middleton) who had planted the rounds on him.

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