From the Courts
July 20, 2012
Bajan man gets 18 months for possession of cannabis

Barbadian national, Mark Corbin will have to spend more time than he intended in St Vincent, after being sentenced to 18 months in jail for drug possession.{{more}}

Corbin, 35, bus driver/carpenter, appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to possession of 12,515 grams (27.5 pounds) of cannabis on July 6, at Layou.

The court heard that PC 565 Walker was among a party of Rapid Response Unit (RRU) officers carrying out a stop and search exercise in Layou, when motor vehicle PB 322, travelling from Barrouallie, heading towards Kingstown was stopped.

Corbin was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

A search of the trunk of the vehicle was then conducted and several taped packages containing the illegal substance were found in a travelling bag with a LIAT tag bearing Corbin’s name.

When cautioned, Corbin said: “Officer, it is 28 pounds of weed in it.”

The court also heard that clothes, a passport and a plane ticket belonging to Corbin showed that he was set to return to Barbados that same day, having arrived in the country on June 29, 2012.

In mitigation, Corbin’s attorney Ronald Marks told the Chief Magistrate Sonya Young that his client pleaded guilty after seeking legal advice.

Marks said Corbin has been married for eight years and has four children, the oldest being 14. According to Marks, from his instructions, Corbin was staying in Campden Park and went to Rose Bank to stay with a friend. While there, Marks said his client was strenuously encouraged to transport the packages from Rose Bank to Campden Park and further noted that he had no intention of carrying the drugs back to Barbados.

Marks added that he also has a house, which he has to pay a mortgage for.

In the circumstances, Marks pleaded with the court for a financial penalty and stated that the value of the drug was approximately between $15,000 and $16,000.

Before handing down her sentence, Young said that she was rejecting the explanation.

“My mind is that he went to Rose Bank to get the drug to get on a plane back to Barbados. I think he came to SVG to engage himself in the drug trade. When he came here he knew he had four kids and a mortgage …,” Young said.

The Chief Magistrate said she can’t condone and overlook when foreigners come to this country and break the laws.

“I get really angry about that. I am not considering a fine at all; the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors. 18 in months in prison,” Young ruled.

Seemingly surprised at the sentence, Corbin tried explaining to the court that he was forced to do what he did and only tried his best to save his own life.

“I can’t understand this. I tried to save my own life, ma’am and the officer knows that …,” Corbin explained.(KW)