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Indian Bay man freed of cocaine charge

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Shadiq Shallow of Indian Bay walked out of the Serious Offences Court a free man on Tuesday after Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman upheld a no-case submission by his lawyer, Arthur Williams.
Shallow was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply.{{more}}
Detective Sergeant Trevor Bailey told the Court that on December 8, 2003, he went to the FedEx office in Kingstown as a result of information he received. He met Shallow at the FedEx office and told him about the information he received, following which Shallow pointed to a brown cardboard box which contained a wedding dress.
The detective sergeant said he opened the box and examined the white wedding dress. Having searched the dress, he found two transparent plastic belts containing cocaine.
Bailey also told the Court that when he removed the plastic belts of cocaine Shallow said the contents “look like heroin”.
The detective sergeant said Shallow told him that a man at Rillan Hill, who returned home from New York, gave him the box with the wedding dress to post. But, when he spoke with the man in Shallow’s presence, the man said he did not know Shallow. He said neither the man nor Shallow gave a statement.
During cross-examination, Sgt. Bailey said he did not ask the Rillan Hill man where in New York he lived. He also said he did not call the telephone number in New York which was on the box, nor did he try to contact the person to whom the box was to be shipped.
Asked why he did not call the telephone number on the box, he said he was not allowed to.
When asked about the name and address of the sender, Sgt. Bailey said that according to the information on the box it was Nicole Nicholls with an Indian Bay address. He, however, explained that the reason Shallow’s name was not on the box was because he did not have his identification card at the time, and Nicholls, who had means of identification, signed on his behalf. He also said that Nicholls was unable to appear in Court because she was overseas.
Williams made a no-case submission on the grounds that his client, when questioned by police, immediately named the person who gave him the box to post; when the man’s lawyer took him to the police the only reason he went was to exculpate the accused; the police failed to take the investigation beyond this country.
Williams contended that the man gave Shallow the box with the wedding dress to post. He said the dress was too big and the man was shipping it back to New York to have it changed. He said the police should have asked the man for his New York address.
Williams further submitted that a prima facie case was not made out and that in the circumstance, the police could not prove that the defendant had knowledge of what was in the box.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Adolphus Delpesche, argued that for the defence counsel to submit that a prima facie case was not made out “at this halfway mark” was “not proper”. He argued that the issue of whether the defendant’s name was on the box did not exclude him from knowledge of what was in the box. He contended that the defendant pointed out the box on arrival of the police.
Presiding Magistrate Churaman said that the case was not thoroughly investigated. She said in her view the investigations were taking the police to a certain path but it appeared there was a question of having access to certain resources to conduct thorough investigations.
The magistrate ruled that the evidence adduced amounted to suspicion and there was not enough evidence which could lead to a conviction.

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