Immigration status causes deportation instead of fine
Imran Henry, a native of Dominica, was ordered deported after he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and cultivation of the class ‘B’ drugs.
Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh was informed that Henry has been living illegally in the country for four years. His last extension expired on January 11, 2008.
Based on his immigration status, Walsh said she was not imposing a fine on the first-time offender, but would instead make an order for his deportation.
On June 6, police officers went to Henry’s Golden Grove New Extension home at about 5:35 pm to execute a search warrant.
While searching an eastern bedroom, they found 20 grammes of cannabis in a small orange plastic bag in a drawer. Seven cannabis plants were found growing during a search of the back-yard.
The plants were uprooted and Henry was taken to St John’s Police Station where he was arrested and charged.
The cured cannabis and the plants have a combined street value of $295.
Chief magistrate chides officer, dismisses case
Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh dismissed a charge against Roxroy Smith of making use of threatening language when he appeared before her in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court.
Smith’s lawyer, Leon Chaku Symister, told the court that his client’s charge did not have the date the offence occurred. Symister said the charge was bad and asked that the matter be dismissed.
However, Walsh, who informed him that the court’s copy of the charge had the date, said she wanted to hear the facts before deciding on dismissing the matter.
The prosecutor told the court that on Saturday, May 19, Smith and a police officer had an accident and exchanged numbers.
Smith reportedly called the officer several times without reply. He then left a message on the cop’s voicemail threatening to kill him (the officer) and his family.
The prosecutor said the officer became afraid, which Walsh did not believe, and made a report to the police.
Smith explained to the court that he called the officer 13 times without answer and became frustrated. He said he left the voicemail four days after he could not get the officer, to frighten him into action.
The officer denied receiving the calls, but admitted to getting the threatening message. Before receiving the message the lawman confessed that he never called the Jamaican man.
Walsh chastised the officer for not living up to his verbal agreement and told Smith that he should have reported the accident to the police.
The chief magistrate said she understood why Smith behaved the way he did and added that she might have done the same thing (after having called the officer 13 times without response.)
Marijuana grower fined
Sherwin Hunte of Gray’s Farm pleaded guilty to cultivation and possession of 17 marijuana plants and was convicted and fined in St John’s Magistrates’ Court.
The plants had an estimated street value of $230.
A second defendant, Deless Phillip, pleaded not guilty to both charges and the prosecution, which initially said it was proceeding to trial against him, withdrew the charges.
Hunte was fined $1,000 for each offence to be paid forthwith. An alternative sentence of one year on each count to run concurrently was imposed.
When police officers went to Hunte’s George Street, Gray’s Farm home on May 26 with a search warrant they found the plants, which the young man said he grew to make tea for his asthmatic daughter. He was arrested and charged.