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Shaniqua Roberts’ love costs her $2,500


When 22-year-old Shaniqua Roberts attempted to perform a favour for her boyfriend and take weed to Kingstown for someone, she was only doing it out of love. At least, that’s the explanation given to the court by her attorney Grant Connell.{{more}}

Roberts, of Troumaca, pleaded guilty at the Serious Offences Court to possession of 4 pounds of cannabis at Peter’s Hope on April 17, 2009. She was initially charged with her sister Shanique Roberts, but Shanique’s charge was withdrawn after she pleaded not guilty. Shaniqua was fined $2,500 with $500 to be paid forthwith and the remainder in three months.

Mitigating on his client’s behalf, Connell told Chief Magistrate Sonya Young that Roberts, the mother of a three-year-old child, was given the drug by her boyfriend to drop off in Kingstown. “Your Worship, sometimes, we do stupid things for love and the actions of men are sometimes questionable,” Connell noted. The attorney said that his client’s situation was a telling tale of society’s reality. “Cupboards are empty, no jobs, crowded prisons and the only reason why she did this was because she was influenced,” Connell explained.

During a routine stop and search by the police at about 12:30 p.m. on April 17, members of the Drug Squad ordered an omnibus traveling from Barrouallie to stop. During a search, a black plastic bag containing a brown taped package with the drug was found.

“I get very annoyed when unemployed women succumb to be used for these kinds of things…It is very difficult when I have to deal with this. We all have a free will,” Chief Magistrate Sonya Young stressed. She added that if Roberts’ boyfriend really loved her, he would not put her life or freedom in jeopardy. Young even made the point that Roberts should have been thinking about her child before she engaged in such illegal activity. “Your child should be of permanent interest to you. You are a young woman with four subjects who can make choices to enhance your life instead of ruining it,” Young said.

When Magistrate Young asked who would help her to pay the fine, Roberts noted that her mother was outside the courtroom, but she was unemployed. “See what I’m saying? Look at what you have put your mother through. Women have something that men don’t possess and that is instinct. If you had followed your instinct you would not have had to go through this,” Young added.