From the Courts
February 21, 2017
Byera woman jailed for six months for cannabis possession

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

This saying came to mind yesterday at the Serious Offences Court when Byera resident Rosalind Hepburn was sentenced to six months in prison.

On April 24, 2016, Hepburn appeared before the same court, charged with having 400 grams of cannabis in her possession with intent to supply.

At that time, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias was lenient towards Hepburn, who broke down into tears and told the court she got into the predicament because it was the only way for her to get out of a poor financial situation.

Hepburn was fined EC$800, $400 of which was paid forthwith and the balance was to be paid within three months.

Yesterday, Hepburn reappeared before the court, charged that on February 18, 2017, at the Grenadines Wharf, “she had in her possession a controlled drug to wit, 768 grams of cannabis with intent to supply.”

She pleaded guilty to the charge.

Police say that on Saturday, around 11:15 a.m, PC 707 Haywood, while conducting security checks on persons travelling to the various Grenadine islands, saw Hepburn approaching Gate Five at the wharf.

Haywood requested a search on Hepburn, to which she consented.

Nothing was found on Hepburn’s person, but a black plastic bag containing “groceries” was found in her big blue travelling bag.

Haywood’s suspicions were aroused when she picked up an ECGC flour bag and noticed that it was hard. She asked Hepburn what was in the flour, to which Hepburn replied “Officer is groceries, nothing in the flour.”

However, when the police officer opened the flour bag, she found two transparent packages containing the controlled substance.

The offence was pointed out and Hepburn was arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), where she admitted, “Officer is weed; is my own to carry Canouan to sell.”

Although no previous convictions were presented in court yesterday, Browne-Matthias immediately recognized Hepburn and pointed out that she has convictions and a warrant.

It turns out that after she was fined last year, Hepburn made no attempt to pay the balance she owed to the court and so a warrant was issued for her arrest.

“My Lordship, give me a chance please; I not working,” pleaded Hepburn.

However, her plea fell on deaf ears, as the Chief Magistrate rebutted, “but the only thing you want to do is get involved in drugs.”

Browne-Matthias told the Byera woman that the last time she stood before the court she was very lenient towards her; this was not the case yesterday.(AS)