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Cottle sentenced to two years

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Janice Cottle is now in the third day of her two-year prison sentence after being found guilty at the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday for having 31 rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition in her possession.

Cottle who was jointly charged with her husband Theophilus “Benjie” Cottle was reduced to tears after the sentence was passed. Her husband was however found not guilty of the charge.{{more}}

On September 10, 2006 at about 6:45 am members of the Rapid Response Unit and Narcotics Unit went to Cottle’s (Janice) home in Cane Garden to execute a search warrant.

Officers told the court that Cottle took them to a room, which she and her husband occupied. The court heard that a search was conducted of a wardrobe and turned up a long black metallic magazine with 31 rounds of ammunition underneath some clothing. Cottle was cautioned and replied, “Me na know nutin bout dat, it probably bin there from the last time alyo came.”

Defense Counsel Samantha Robertson argued that her client was in bed at the time the police came to her house and that she did not come to the door when the officers came.

Janice said that there were nine occupants in the house at the time and that she escorted the police officers to the master bedroom that is occupied by persons who come to visit. She told the court that there are three master rooms upstairs and she occupies one that is situated at the back of the house. She went on to say that nothing belonged to her in the master room, which was searched by the officers.

Cottle also denied telling the police that she and her husband occupied the room. She went on to say that her husband does not live at the house.

The other defense lawyer for both defendants, Ronald Marks, said that Cottle (Benjie) could not be held responsible to the charge, as the prosecution could not make any links between him and the ammunition. He pointed out that the evidence lead by the prosecution was tenuous and based on assumption on the belief that the ammunition belonged to him.

Robertson also supported Marks’ point that the prosecution’s evidence was tenuous. She said that they failed to show that Janice was in possession of the ammunition and magazine.

Station Sergeant Nigel Butcher counteracted and said that Janice had control of the room at the time. He said that the magazine and ammunition was concealed in such a way that she knew where it was.

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