From the Courts
January 16, 2018
Minibus passengers fined $11,500 for ganja possession

Two defendants who were apprehended in the same minibus for each having over 3,000g of cannabis in their possession were both fined for this possession in the Serious Offences Court last week Monday.

Thoar Jack of Byera was charged with having in his possession on Friday, January 5 at Rabacca, 3,440g of cannabis.

Ochocko Hamilton of New Adelphi was charged with having in his possession on the same date and in the same place, 3,906g of the drug. Both defendants pleaded guilty to the separate offences laid against them.

Both defendants being new to the courtroom, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias had to break down the charge to Jack, who said “Me nah really understand. First time me come in court,” in response to his charge.

The court heard that at 4:30 p.m. on January 5, the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) was on mobile patrol duty, when they saw the minibus headed to Georgetown along the main road at Rabacca. Nothing illegal was found on the person of the driver, but Jack, who was seated behind the driver, was carrying a black bag with five taped packages of the drug inside it. He then allegedly said, “Officer, is weed I have there. Officer is weed I have there.”

In Hamilton’s case, a different officer of the RRU searched his blue Jansport backpack and found loose material wrapped in transparent plastic. Hamilton, whose eyes were darting between the officer reading these facts and the Chief Magistrate, then apparently said, “officer, that weed is mines.”

Jack, in his defence, pleaded with the Chief Magistrate to give him a little time, saying, “Me daughter going go two years” and that he also takes care of his mother. Browne-Matthias then asked him when his daughter was going to turn two, to which he replied that this would be on February 16. The prosecutor then said that Jack seemed “real remorseful”, to which Browne-Matthias replied, “Christmas gone, you know.”

Hamilton also pleaded along the same lines, saying that he had done the act to “pay some bills and send [his] children back to school and buy some back to school things for the yute dem.” When the Chief Magistrate questioned him, it came out that the mother of the children did not work and the grandmother liked her liquor, so his two children stayed with their great-grandmother.

After thinking about the sentence for both defendants, the Chief Magistrate fined Jack $5,500 and Hamilton $6,000, asking them to consult with the necessary people to find out how much they could pay forthwith.(KR)