From the Courts
June 18, 2004

Prosecutor denies defence’s accusation

Serious Crimes Court prosecutor Sergeant Adolphus Delpesche has denied allegations made by lawyer Arthur Williams that local Coast Guard officers acted improperly when they intercepted a boat loaded with marijuana and arrested three Vincentians and two Dominicans at Richmond last week. {{more}}
In that case, Lennox John, 42, of Campden Park was charged with possessing 307 lbs of marijuana with intent to supply; Orlando Samuel, 25, of Argyle was charged with possessing 128 lbs of marijuana with intent to supply; Randolph Samuel, 22, of Campden Park was charged with possessing 105 lbs of marijuana with intent to supply, while Dominicans Dawson James, 36, and Rawlins Rolle, 24, were jointly charged with possessing 567 lbs of marijuana with intent to supply.
When the men appeared before the court last week, Williams, who represented them all, said that James, the captain of the boat, would accept responsibility for all the marijuana.
The defence lawyer told the court that, according to his “instructions”, James had the drugs in the boat and “he picked up the other men”.
Prosecutor Delpesche, in his reply, indicated his unwillingness to accept the defence’s position. He also indicated that he was not willing to withdraw the charges against the other men in the circumstances without consultation with his superiors.
Following the prosecutor’s refusal, Williams charged that, according to his “instructions”, the police “put guns” on the men and forced them to own various portions
of the boat-load of marijuana.
Prosecutor Delpesche denied the allegation saying that his “instructions” differed. He added that he had evidence, which said otherwise. He said the defendants initially owned different portions of the drug but it was only in the last minute that one man decided to take the rap.
Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman, having heard the brief arguments, ruled that in the circumstances, James could not plead guilty to charges, which were laid separately against others. She said he could only plead guilty to charges that were laid against him.
All five were remanded in custody last week Monday. However, the three Vincentians were each granted cash bail of $10,000 and $20,000 with one surety. They reappeared in court on Monday and were still on remand, having failed then to meet the bail conditions.