From the Courts
February 10, 2006
Bajan accused freed of marijuana charge

The dark cloud which had been lingering over Sonny Elcock’s head since last August has finally been removed.

Elcock, a Barbadian national, had his case dismissed by Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman, after she upheld a no-case submission because of lack of evidence by Elcock’s lawyer, Jaundy Martin.{{more}}

“I feel great. I prayed every night for God to send one of his angels my way. Mr. Martin is a blessed man; I placed all my trust in him and left the rest in God’s hands.”

Elcock appeared last Wednesday, February 8, at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown, facing two drug charges. He was jointly charged with Otis Dorset, on August 26, 2005, for having 22,700 grams (50 pounds) of cannabis in their possession at the E.T Joshua airport. Dorset pleaded guilty to charges of possession and intent to export. He was fined $6,000.

Prosecutor, Sergeant Nigel Butcher told the court that Dorset, on the day of the incident, could not open the combination on the lock and it was Elcock who opened it.

Defence Attorney Martin argued that the police arrested and charged Elcock with having knowledge of how to open the combination lock on the suitcase, and that he was never questioned as to what was in it.

One officer took the stand and made comments as to what Dorset said on the matter. But Martin quickly intervened and made it clear that one cannot say what an accused said if he is not present in the courtroom at the said moment. He also highlighted the fact that Elcock was not even a witness in the matter, and chief Magistrate Churaman agreed.

Martin told the court that Elcock had met Dorset when he (Elcock) came to St. Vincent. He said that on the day the accused was arrested, Dorset was leaving the island, and Elcock had asked him to rent him his car, and he consented. Martin pointed out that his client went to the airport just to collect the car, which he had rented from Dorset.

The no-case submission raised by Martin was based on his client’s ignorance of what had taken place and the contention that anyone could have known the combination for the lock, and he stated that the evidence given was too tenuous to find his client guilty.