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Illegal is not the way to go says Chief Magistrate

Illegal is not the way to go says Chief Magistrate


Kamal Hamlett says he only wanted to help out with the financial situation at home, and assist his mother who had just suffered a stroke.{{more}}

While his intentions may have been noble, Hamlett found himself on the wrong side of the law.

The 18-year-old Calliaqua resident pleaded guilty to possession of 749 grams of cannabis when he appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, March 12.

He was fined $750 in two months or will face three months imprisonment.

However, Chief Magistrate Young suspended the sentence for one year.

The court was told that police officers were on mobile patrol at about 7:05 pm on Friday, March 9 in the Bay Street area when the odour of cannabis was detected coming from a minibus.

The officers approached the bus and saw Hamlett with a black knapsack at his feet. He was asked to step out of the vehicle and when a search was conducted, the illegal substance was found in the knapsack.

The 18-year-old explained to the court that he was forced to quit school because he could not afford to go on a daily basis.

“Your worship, my mum just recently returned from overseas with a stroke and I just been trying to help her out. She lives with me,” Hamlett said.

He noted that he only reached the fourth form.

To help support himself and his mother, the young man said he worked odd jobs from time and time and recently held down a steady job.

As her son spoke, Hamlett’s mother who was seated in the court, started crying.

When the woman was asked to take the witness stand, she confirmed that Hamlett was the breadwinner in the home.

His sister was also called into the court to explain Hamlett’s position. She too confirmed that their mother was living with Hamlett and that he was the one providing for her.

The woman said her brother had to stop going to school because she was not working at the time and that she had a young child to take care of.

Young told Hamlet what he was doing was “admirable”, but that he must do it the legal way.

“I don’t think illegal is the way to go. You need to learn a skill. You won’t find many people your age taking care of their mother…. You have to walk the straight and narrow,” Young advised.(KW)