From the Courts
November 24, 2017
Man earns himself 15-month jail term for cocaine

Abused or not, a 24-year-old man felt the full brunt of the law for his possession of 92g of cocaine.

Atiba Jacobs of Lowmans Windward, appearing before the court on Monday, pleaded guilty to the possession of the cocaine, for which he was arrested at the Grenadines Wharf on November 16.

The drug was found in Jacobs’ possession by officers on duty at the wharf, who requested a search of the defendant’s belongings. While nothing illegal was found in Jacob’s belongings, concealed in his pants, the officers found a transparent bag with two silver foil wrappings.

Later that day, the Criminal Investigation Department weighed the drug in his presence and it was found to be 92g.

Defense lawyer Israel Bruce presented a list of circumstances that he felt were mitigating factors for the Chief Magistrate to consider.

Bruce stated that the young man was a “virgin to the law” and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had therefore not wasted the court’s time.

According to Bruce, Jacobs had been in an accident seven years ago and since then has been suffering from “mental issues” and “is being treated for matters which speak to nervous inhibitions.”

The lawyer said because of this, people have taken advantage of Jacobs and used him to traffic cocaine.

“Atiba found himself in a place where he allowed himself to be abused.”

He asked that the defendant be given a fine instead and continue his treatment, so that he can stop being exposed to “wicked and nasty people who prey.”

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne then raised the concern about his mental inhibitions preventing him from being able to plead and asked whether he should be sent for observation, to which Bruce replied that in his common sense evaluation, that was unnecessary.

Browne then stated that for the mental inhibitions to have been a mitigating factor, what may have been provided were the names of those who caused him to engage in the wicked act.

However, Bruce was concerned about the consequences this would have, saying that in “this current SVG when it comes to those things,” he does not want a “rehash of Paul’s Lot and Diamonds,” referring to the shooting incidents that took place in these areas last month.

Browne then stated that regardless, the necessary steps had not been taken. She stood down the matter to consider the sentence and upon return handed down a sentence of 15 months in prison to Jacobs.(KR)