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Innocent until proven guilty is an important sentiment for us to hold, especially in court cases. Snap judgments can hurt innocent people, and this is particularly true with the law. Take a look at this court case, which exemplifies the importance of the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

Jonny Sombrero

Mr. Henry Barnes was a 76-year old biker that went by the nickname Jonny Sombrero. In 1951, he founded the Black Diamond Riders (BDR), a motorcycle club that was once one of the city’s most notorious bike gangs. He currently faces 18 counts for “careless storage” of firearms.

On the day of the incident in 2010, Mr. Barnes received a call from a police officer at 11:20 in the morning saying that his car was being broken into. Although he thought it quite strange to have received such a call, he decided to go investigate. Just as he went to head out, a “big fella…came through the door” and grabbed him by the neck. The man who entered Mr. Barnes’ home was Michael Press, a “civilian member of the Toronto police service.”

Mr. Barnes described how he spent five hours (at gunpoint) watching police officers tear up his home while seizing more than 100 “machine guns, rifles, handguns and other weapons.” The day of the incident was a difficult one for Mr. Barnes as he described having his ribs being broken by the abrupt entry and being forced to watch his home be turned upside-down while searched.

Mr. Barnes is fighting the laid charges on the basis that he has no criminal record and that all his firearms are “registered and locked in lockers.” Mr. Barnes asserts that he is an avid gun collector, having received his first gun from his father at the age of 22, and not a criminal.

Things are not always clear-cut; if you have any questions/concerns or are in need of legal advice, contact us for a consultation.

*Disclaimer:  The information provided in this article is NOT legal advice but fundamental information to be further inquired upon professionally.  You should always consult with a qualified lawyer to obtain proper advice.


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