From the Courts
June 25, 2004

British citizen loses appeal

British citizen, Jamaican national Wendell Lee, 43, will have to serve the 30 months sentence imposed by the Serious Offences Court.{{more}}
Lee, a forklift operator residing in England, received the prison sentence last month when he pleaded guilty to possessing 20 pounds of cocaine with intent to supply. He was arrested at the E. T. Joshua Airport on May 5 as he awaited a Caribbean Star flight to Grenada.
He was initially charged with possessing ten pounds of cocaine with intent to supply.
A British woman, Beverly Browne, was also charged with possessing ten pounds of cocaine the same day. Lee claimed in court that the drug found in her suitcase also belonged to him, thus claiming responsibility for twenty pounds of cocaine.
At Wednesday’s sitting of the Appeal Court, Lee’s lawyer Samantha Robertson said her client was appealing against his sentence which was considered excessive. She contended that under the law he could have been fined $100,000 or imprisoned for 2 years. She said the fact that he pleaded guilty to the charge should have allowed him discount of one-third of the sentence. She further contended that he should have received a further discount for not having any previous conviction.
Robertson referred to a case before the High Court where an accused pleaded guilty to possessing over 40 lbs of cocaine, was fined $75,000 and was given time to pay.
Justice Michael Gordon Q.C. replied that the circumstances may have been different. He asked Robertson if she didn’t think it was an aggravating feature where someone comes from where they come from and attempt to traffic or transport drugs out of the country.
Highlighting the aggravating features, Justice Albert Redhead said that the appellant was a non-Vincentian, he attempted to export a quantity of drug, 20 pounds, “which in our opinion was a considerable amount”.
“We are of the view that this is a very serious offence having regard to the quantity… We are of the view that the sentence imposed by the magistrate was not excessive”, Justice Redhead added.