From the Courts
October 17, 2017
Grenadian man jailed for three years on cannabis possession

A Grenadian man, who was charged with possession of five nylon sacks of cannabis, has been sentenced to three years in prison here.

Ingram Francis was charged that, on March 9, 2017, at Union Island, he had in his possession 78,996 g of the drug, with intent to supply.

The two accounts of the story given at the Serious Offences Court were fundamentally different. The police report had described a police party that, acting on information received, headed out to Cameron Beach, Union Island, to carry out a search of the area.

The two officers who alighted at the beach described making their way through bush near the beach and seeing Francis sitting on a nylon sack.

The officers said that when Francis noticed the presence of police, he ran and they gave chase, catching him promptly.

When the sack he was sitting on was searched, it proved to be full of packages of material which suspiciously looked like marijuana. A further search of the area revealed four more sacks containing similar packages.

The defendant had also supposedly told the police that two guys were with him and they went down the road, so “I responsible for the weed.”

Francis is further reported to have said that he was working with someone in Grenada. He was arrested and charged with the offence at the Union Island Police Station on that day.

Francis, who had been very attentive to all proceedings in court and even made dramatic facial expressions during the testimony of the arresting police officers, then described a very different scenario. He stated that he was in Union Island to purchase coconut oil, breadfruit and cannabis to sell to tourists in Grenada.

He stated that he had purchased the drug on Union Island, but only the smallest package of weed presented in court on October 13.

He said he then placed the weed in his pants and was walking away from the beach when police officers confronted him, saying they were acting on a tip-off.

He claimed that a police officer then beat him and proceeded to demonstrate how they did so multiple times. He then stated that the other police officer ran into the bushes and said “I found it.”

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne Matthias was unconvinced with the defendants account, saying that the prosecution had proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

She then found him guilty of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply and sentenced him to three years in prison, inclusive of the seven to eight months he had already spent there.(KR)