A terrified woman jumped 20ft off a cliff into the sea in darkness to escape from her estranged boyfriend because he was armed with a handgun.
The woman snatched the pistol out of Gavaska Lodge Bascome’s sweater pocket before leaping into the ocean off North Shore and swimming for safety.
Today, Bascome was jailed for 11 years after he admitted handling the firearm. He had initially been charged with attempted murder but prosecutors accepted a plea to the handling offence.
The Supreme Court heard that the 22-year-old had driven her to an isolated Pembroke church yard on a motorbike on the evening of May 1, this year.
However, she began to fear for her safety when she noticed he had a gun.
After jumping into the sea, the woman swam west from the First Church of God and down North Shore before dumping the gun in a cave and trying to find help.
She returned home that evening but contacted police after hearing a person, whom she believed to be Bascome, outside her property that same night.
Detectives recovered the firearm from the cave and arrested Bascome.
Passing sentence this morning Puisne Judge Charles Etta Simmons said: “The circumstances surrounding the handling were that you took your estranged girlfriend to an isolated place with a firearm.
“She was aware that you had a firearm and you put her in fear of her safety.
“The aggravating features of this case are the type of firearm; it was a handgun that was tested and found to be in working order.
“From the surrounding circumstances it [the gun] ensured that your girlfriend complied with your request to go to the church.”
The court heard that Bascome, along with two other men, was jailed for five years in 2013 for a machete attack that took place outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club.
The three set upon their victim with machetes and a knife as he lay on the ground, following an argument outside the club with a man not before the courts.
In the clash that ensued, Bascome wielded the knife; the other two struck with machetes.
Within months of being released from prison Bascome was arrested in connection with another violent assault on Court Street in Hamilton.
At the time he took his girlfriend to the churchyard, he was on bail for that assault charge.
This morning, when asked if there was anything he would like to say before sentence was passed, Bascome said: “I would like to apologise to my family.
“I am not the person they put me out to be. I am determined to get myself together and I will use the time I spend in custody to do that.”
Bascome’s lawyer, Jerome Lynch QC, said his client did not accept the version of events the woman gave to police.
But he described Bascome’s actions as “very unpleasant” and acknowledged that the victim would have been “frightened out of her wits”.
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