A 22 year old mother of three begged Senior Magistrate, Colin John, to “please have mercy on me” after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and possession with intent.
Terrica Patterson of Layou was charged that she on January, 14, 2024 at Layou had in her possession 21 grammes of the controlled drug, cocaine, for the purpose of drug trafficking; and for possessing 21 grammes of cocaine with intent to supply it to another.
The facts outlined by PC 196 Constantine read that on Sunday, 14 January, 2024 about 6:15 a.m, acting on information received, Cpl 615 Williams headed a party of Rapid Response Unit and Narcotics Unit personnel to execute a search warrant at the home and premises of Terrica Patterson of Texier road, Layou in respect of controlled drugs.
PC 242 Baptiste was also a member of that party. On arrival, Patterson was met at home along with her family. CPL 615 Williams identified herself and the party as police officers dressed in the uniform of the Rapid Response Unit and plain clothes respectively.
Cpl Williams then read and showed the warrant to her, and Patterson consented to the search. Cpl Williams then asked Patterson in the presence of PC 242 Baptiste if she had anything illegal, to which she made no reply. Cpl Williams while searching in the bedroom of Patterson’s grandmother, Donna Dover, in the presence of PC 242 Baptiste and Dover, found a black and white polka dot, one strap bag on a bed.
Cpl Williams searched the bag in the presence of Dover and PC Baptiste and observed that it contained another small, black bag which contained a transparent plastic bag with four, hard, whitish substances resembling cocaine. Cpl Williams then showed the contents to Dover in the presence of PC 242 Baptiste and pointed out the offence of possession of controlled drugs to her; she was then cautioned.
Dover replied, “Officer the bag belongs to my grand daughter Terrica Patterson, and I don’t know anything about the cocaine”.
Cpl Williams then went into the living room along with PC Baptiste and Dover with the said bag and its contents. Dover pointed out Patterson to Cpl Williams; the officer showed Patterson the bag and its contents, pointed out the offence, and cautioned her in respect of the drug, to which she replied, “Is mines.”
Cpl Williams immediately wrote down what Patterson said to her; Patterson signed to it. PC Baptiste also signed as witness and Cpl Williams signed as well. Cpl Williams then informed both Dover and Patterson that she would be arresting them on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug.
Cpl Williams took them both to the Narcotics base where they volunteered to give a caution statement, and Patterson admitted to owning the drug. The drug was weighed in her presence and amounted to 21 grammes. She was then charged for the offence.
Patterson told Senior Magistrate John that it was her first time buying and selling the cocaine and that she has three children of her own. John found that the offence was “motivated by financial need”.
Prosecutor, Corlene Samuel noted that the substance was left exposed to the children in the home which could have caused “potential harm” to them. She, however, noted that a mitigating factor is the lack of sophistication in concealing the item, and the fact that Patterson has had no previous convictions.
Samuel noted Patterson’s age, and that all her children are under the age of six, including a seven month old baby.
In tears Patterson pleaded with the Senior Magistrate, “Please have mercy on me, your honour.”
John asked the young woman if she realises the seriousness of this offence.
Upon further questioning by the Senior Magistrate, Patterson said that she placed the drug in her grandmother’s room away from her children, and she is seeking employment but she has found “no job yet”.
She further claimed that no one will take care of her children if she is sentenced to prison.
John said that he has considered her guilty plea, as well as the fact that “this is a serious offence.”
“Where did you get the money from to buy cocaine? Why didn’t you buy an icebox to sell drinks?” the Senior Magistrate asked.
Patterson’s response to the questions were drowned in a whimpering voice as she wiped the tears from her face.
John then imposed a fine of $5,000 for the offence of drug trafficking. The fine is to be paid in three months or Patterson will spend one year in prison. Patterson was also bonded for one year in the sum of $2,000 with a default of one year imprisonment.