From the Courts
September 11, 2009
Muckett chided for neglect of child

When Natellia Muckett appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, she was charged with marijuana possession, but Chief Magistrate Sonya Young wished she could have charged her with another offense.{{more}}

Muckett, a 24-year-old of Langley Park, was charged with having in her possession 144 grams of cannabis with intent to supply to another. Muckett pleaded guilty to the offence. Facts revealed in court state that police found the drugs while executing a search at Muckett’s home at Langley Park.

Muckett’s lawyer Ronald Marks in mitigation, however, challenged the police facts stating that they were “incorrect and disputed”. Marks revealed that Muckett was not at home at the time the house was searched, which is what the police said. He said she was at a neighbor’s home while a 17-month-old baby slept alone in the house.

At this point Chief Magistrate Young became visibly upset: “You understand what God has entrusted you with? You don’t leave a 17-month-old child in a house by himself!” Young said.

Young continued by telling the young mother about the incident where the two children were burnt in a house at Redemption Sharpes and how dangerous it is to leave a toddler alone. Muckett replied, stating that the house where the baby slept was not very far away from where she was. Magistrate disregarded the explanation as she chided Muckett, “Don’t do it again!” she said.

Marks continued with his mitigation, stating that Muckett did not admit the weed was hers, which was also stated in the facts read in court. He added that marijuana was not a significant amount, Muckett had no previous charges and that she pleaded guilty at her first opportunity, not wasting any of the court’s time.

While handing down the fine, Magistrate Young told Muckett to take her responsibility more seriously. “I wished I could have fined you for something else,” Young added. Muckett was fined $155 to be paid forthwith or she will serve one month’s imprisonment.(OS)