From the Courts
June 24, 2016
Convict issues threats to journalist at Court

A man who was found guilty at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday became annoyed when he was photographed by a journalist and issued threats to the media man.{{more}}

An irate Keith Williams, who was being ushered to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) after no one appeared to pay a fine imposed by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, told journalist Lyf Compton to not take his photo.

“I will slap you; what you taking my photo for, boy? When I come out ah prison, I will lick off you head. Anywhere I meet you, I will lick off you head,” Williams said, while sitting on the carriage of a police jeep. The threats were issued in earshot of a number of police officers from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU).

Williams had earlier that day appeared in court charged that on Tuesday, June 21 in Layou, he had in his possession 193 grammes of marijuana with intent to supply.

According to information read in court, at around 4:44 p.m. on June 21, a group of police officers were on stop and search duties at Quarry Road, Layou, when they stopped a minivan which was travelling from Barrouallie.

Williams was seated in the third seat behind the conductor with a black plastic bag between his feet on the floor of the van. A search of the black bag was conducted and weed was found.

When the 35-year-old father of two appeared in court on Wednesday, he pleaded guilty. His lawyer Grant Connell told the court that up to last month, Williams was employed by Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis, but had lost his job.

“He suffers from asthma and uses the marijuana for medical purposes. We all know the medicinal value of marijuana…he had it in a black bag; he was not brandishing it,” Connell told Browne-Matthias, while pleading for leniency on behalf of his client. He also asked for a minimal fine and time to pay.

“We go to church and we don’t know what is in the incense we inhale; it could even be crack (cocaine),” Connell commented, much to the amusement of the court.

The lawyer, while making his case for a fine, said in his opinion, the law as it relates to marijuana possession will soon be amended and persons caught with marijuana after that might be labelled quasi-criminals, and fined by a ticket and not the court.

Connell asked also if the court could consider reprimanding and discharging Williams, to which Browne-Matthias responded with a EC$450 forthwith fine or two months in prison.

She ordered that the drug be destroyed.