From the Courts
November 23, 2007
Magistrate Browne: If you were 15, I would have ordered a flogging

His cries could not save his 16-year-old client from a prison sentence last week, and on Tuesday, Lawyer Bayliss Frederick was once again defending another 16-year-old.{{more}}

This time, Frederick rose as friend of the court and pleaded with Senior Magistrate Donald Browne not to send Zorick Hepburn to jail. His plea seems to have helped.

Hepburn, 16, of Barrouallie was fined $250 for having 26 grams of cannabis in his possession. Hepburn was given two weeks to pay the fine. Failure to do so would result in a six-month prison sentence.

“Your Lordship you know what he needs? He needs a hard clout behind his head, so he can get some knowledge. All he needs is a chance and that is why I’m advocating you to exercise your discretion, despite the law.”

On the day he was arrested, Hepburn was involved in an altercation at the Barrouallie playing field where there was a function. He was taken to the Barrouallie police station where a black plastic bag containing the plant material was found in his pants pocket.

Magistrate Browne reminded Frederick that one of the newspapers quoted him as saying “rape the law”. Last week, Frederick had urged Browne not to impose a prison sentence on 16-year-old Evander Thomas after he pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge. Frederick replied, “I don’t care what they write in the papers.”

“You are selling weed, stop it! If you were 15, I would have ordered a flogging for you, get out of drugs.” Browne stated. (KW)