From the Courts
February 25, 2014
Hooper to stand trial on liquid cocaine charges in March

Lisa Hooper will have her day in court on March 18 on charges related to cocaine found in three Hairoun product cans.{{more}}

On Friday, February 21, when the matter was scheduled for hearing at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Hooper’s lawyer, Jomo Thomas, made applications for phone records of two phones that Hooper’s former co-accused Nathan Smith used.

He also made an application that the prosecution furnishes the defense with a videotape involving Smith.

Hooper, a 23-year-old resident of Campden Park, who was charged jointly with Smith of England, pleaded not guilty at the Serious Offences Court on February 3, for possession of 1,235 grams of cocaine, and two charges of conspiracy to export, and drug trafficking, between July 1 and 24, 2013, at the E.T. Joshua Airport.

Smith, 22, pleaded guilty to attempting to export 1,235 grams of cocaine on July 24, 2013, at the E.T. Joshua Airport. He was also charged with possession of 1,235 grams of cocaine, with intent to supply.

He was also charged with agreeing with Hooper, and others, that a course of conduct be pursued, which, if the agreement was carried out in accordance with their intentions, would necessarily amount to, or involve the commission of the offence of exportation of a controlled drug – to wit 1,235 grams of cocaine.

Senior prosecutor, Adolphus Delpesche withdrew two other cocaine related charges that had/been slapped on Smith.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment on the charges by chief magistrate Sonya Young.

Following his conviction, Delpesche informed the court that Smith will be used as a prosecution witness to testify at Hooper’s trial.

The Chief Magistrate recused herself from the matter noting that she had already heard the facts in the case and it would not be fair to sit on Hooper’s trial.

As a result, the matter was transferred to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, where magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias will preside.

On July 24, at about 5:30 a.m., Police Constable 272 John of the Narcotics Unit, acting on information, went to the airport.

On arrival, John saw when Smith cleared immigration and security officials. John then requested a search on his person, but nothing illegal was found.

John then questioned Smith about his luggage and subsequently escorted him to retrieve his suitcase from the baggage section.

In his luggage, three aluminum cans wrapped in separate pieces of clothing were found.

The three sealed cans bore the labels Vita malt, Presidente and Hairoun, all local products.

John then weighed the cans and observed that the weight amounted to more than the 12 ounces stated on the labels.

Two of the cans weighed 14 ounces each and the other 15.

This aroused John’s suspicion and when he opened the cans, he saw a brown, oily substance flowing from them.

Smith confessed that Hooper was the person who had brought the cans for him, while he was staying at his hotel.