Courts

No conviction on weapons charges for father and son

Paul and Blake Brimicombe free to go after weapons found in their house

Paul and Blake Brimicombe appeared before Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Tuesday on weapons charges.   Trent Erickson

Two men who pleaded guilty to weapons charges received complete discharges in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Tuesday.

Paul Brimicombe, 51, and Blake Brimicombe, 24, had pleaded guilty to five counts of firearms-related charges, but Justice Felix Cacchione said it wasn’t in the public’s interest to convict them.

Cacchione said Paul and Blake Brimicombe had clean criminal records and lacked “blameworthiness” for their actions. He also said a conviction would have an undue impact on their jobs.

Cacchione noted that Paul Brimicombe has worked at the Halifax shipyards for 30 years. The judge added that, if convicted, “his family will suffer financially and emotionally.” The conviction would also be a taxpayer burden, as the father and son would lose their jobs and have to go on social assistance.

On May 8, 2015, police searched the Brimicombe house, located north of Fall River, and found 11 rifles, a shotgun, a musket and two handguns. One of the rifles and both handguns are restricted firearms, and no member of the Brimicombe family possessed the licences necessary to own the regular or restricted firearms.

The court heard the guns that Paul claimed ownership over were passed down to him from his father, but Paul never used them.

The single gun claimed by Blake Brimicombe was a .22-calibre rifle. Blake bought it from a friend when he was 18 years old. He used it to shoot small animals in the woods near his house.

“Maybe rodents in the woods were placed in grave danger, but the public was not,” Luke Craggs, Blake Brimicombe’s lawyer, said in court. Paul Brimicombe was represented by Thomas Singleton.

Police first learned about the Brimicombe weapons collection in April 2015 from an informant. This person told police that the younger Brimicombe possessed a weapon without the required licence.

The court decision means neither Brimicombe will have a criminal record. However, Paul Brimicombe is prohibited from owning firearms for five years. Blake Brimicombe is prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years. All guns found in the house must be forfeited to police.