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Man’s appeal in cocaine case denied

Man’s appeal in cocaine case denied


The appeal of a resident of north leeward against his conviction and sentence on cocaine charges was yesterday denied by a tribunal.{{more}}

At the sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal at the High Court, David Frederick appeared before Appeal Court judges Louise Blenman, Don Mitchell and Chief Justice Janice Pereira to appeal his 2011 conviction for cocaine possession.

Conducting his own appeal, Frederick submitted that his sentence was too harsh and stated that he should have been fined.

On November 8, 2011, Chief Magistrate Sonya Young found Frederick guilty at the Serious Offences Court for possession of 18 pounds of cocaine.

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

In that trial, the court heard that on October 3, 2010, police officers were on patrol in Chateaubelair, when they saw Frederick walking with a knapsack along the beach.

Apparently recognising police presence, Frederick dropped the bag and ran into the sea. Two officers then pursued Frederick in a small row boat and subsequently apprehended him.

After he was brought to shore, the knapsack was opened in his presence and was found to contain cocaine.

Frederick denied ownership of the bag and stated that the only reason he swam out to sea was because he had marijuana in his possession.

The drug was estimated at a street value of EC$162,000 (US$60,000).

The learned Chief Justice told Frederick his offence was a serious one and that such a large quantity of cocaine does not warrant a fine.

Pereira said that the maximum sentence permissable by the magistrate’s court is seven years and he was therefore rewarded with a discount when he was given the five-year sentence.

“She could have fined and confined you. You did not avail yourself to a guilty plea. There was plenty evidence against you and you chose to go through an entire trial…,” Pereira stated.

The Chief Justice was also of the view that the the magistrate did not err in her sentencing.

“I don’t think there’s anything we can do to vary this sentence. It’s a very serious offence. We have to dismiss your appeal,” the Chief Justice ruled.(KW)