Roger Providence
From the Courts
March 11, 2022
Cocaine pills prove pricey for Pole Yard resident

A father of five who was found with a medicine bottle and foil wrappings of an illegal drug in his home has received a $600 fine.

According to the facts read out at the Serious Offences Court (SOC) on March 7, Roger Providence was arrested on Friday, March 4 by a group of Rapid Response Unit (RRU) personnel on patrol.

At around 6:00 p.m the officers, driving in police transport, G884 were driving through the area in Arnos Vale known as Pole Yard. Police Constable 468 Forde noticed Providence handing over something to another male and immediately became suspicious.

Forde asked the driver to stop the transport and Providence began to move away from the wooden house that he had been standing next to. The officers alighted, approached Providence and identified themselves. A search of Providence’s person uncovered a sum of money, but a search of the wooden house also led to the discovery of two aluminium foil wrappings on top of a mini fridge and a medicine bottle on a shelf. An examination of these revealed a “white-ish substance resembling that of cocaine”.

Providence and the drug were taken to the Criminal Investigations Department(CID), where the cocaine was weighed; it amounted to 11g. The money found on his person was handed over to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Providence was charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

Lawyer, Grant Connell representing Providence informed the court that his client is a 44-year-old father of five, and a labourer. He pointed out that he pled guilty at the first opportunity.

Addressing what the court’s sentence may be, Connell acknowledged that the offence would be aggravated by the fact that the drug was cocaine, a “wretched” drug not locally grown; imported and not natural. He did not see any mitigating factors as it relates to the offence.

Then the sentencing process reflects facts about the defendant himself. It was noted that Providence had one previous conviction for a similar offence, as shown on the antecedent record provided by the police to the court. On the other hand, Connell submitted that his client felt “great remorse”, and is taking steps for rehabilitation in the form of counselling through a church.

In the end the lawyer sai that Providence “throws himself at the mercy of the court” and asks for leniency. He reiterated to Chief Magistrate, Rechanne Browne that Providence has five children to maintain, adding that “according to my instructions” the money that was on him was to be for his children.

The lawyer asked that a fine be imposed.

Prosecutor, Station Sergeant Renrick Cato had no objection to a non-custodial sentence but said that what bothered him was the way the drug was packaged. He asked the court to consider, particularly the two facts: that the drug is cocaine and that it was found in the well known area of Pole Yard.

Providence had to sit in the prisoner’s area while the magistrate stood down the matter.

When the defendant returned to the dock, Browne announced that she had decided on a $600 fine, to be paid forthwith in default of wh ich Providence would serve two months imprisonment.

The court issued a destruction order for the cocaine.

Providence paid the fine shortly afterwards and was free to go.