December 11, 2009
Magistrate shocked over missing marijuana

Chief Magistrate Sonya Young is quite perplexed by the disappearance of marijuana samples that were to be tendered into evidence by the prosecution earlier this week.{{more}}

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at the Serious Offences Court, Sergeant Foster Scott of the Narcotics Division opened a sealed envelope of what was supposed to be samples of marijuana tested in Barbados at the Drug testing facility there. However, the package was empty.

Magistrate Young, with a broad grin on her face, said it was the first time she had ever seen something like that happen. “I have never seen a case where one of the analysis packages came up empty,” Young noted.

Scott explained that he carried the samples to Barbados to have them tested but could not explain the disappearance. He noted that the exhibits had been kept in the care of the exhibit keeper in the exhibit room at Arnos Vale. Two packages of samples were opened in court but only one had contents.

At the time, Rudolph Ashton of Lowmans Leeward and Nanton Lavia of Clare Valley had pleaded not guilty to having in their possession 31,780 grams of cannabis in their possession on November 15, 2008, at the Clare Valley mountains.

Prosecutor Inspector Nigel Butcher requested an adjournment to review the case in light of the missing drug samples.

Magistrate Young also said that she would like to peruse the testing certificate of drug test done in Barbados to ascertain whether the drugs were indeed tested.

The matter was adjourned to December 21 for conclusion. (KW)