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No knowledge of liquid cocaine – accused

No knowledge of liquid cocaine – accused

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Lisa Hooper told police officers that she has no knowledge of liquid cocaine found in three Hairoun product cans.{{more}}

Hooper, 22, of Campden Park, is charged with possession of 1,235 grams of cocaine, conspiracy to export, and drug trafficking, between July 1 and 24, 2013, at the E.T. Joshua Airport.

At the trial, which began on Tuesday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Englishman Nathan Smith, who was initially jointly charged with Hooper, told the court that Hooper brought a can each of Presidente beer, Vitamalt and Hairoun to his hotel, which were later discovered to contain cocaine.

Smith, who had pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, turned state witness in the case.

According to his testimony, he arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines on July 11, and was met at the airport by Hooper, whom he said he had never met before.

Smith told the court they went into a taxi, which took them to Hotel Alexandrina, where he stayed his entire trip.

“While there I just relaxed and enjoyed the sun. I had my groceries delivered to me by Hooper, because I did not know St Vincent,” Smith testified.

He said that he was given a vacation trip by his ex-girlfriend’s father and was told that arrangements would be made for someone to pick him up at the airport.

While here, Smith stated that he went to the beach a couple of times with Hooper and that was the only place he visited.

The only occasion he mentioned venturing out on his own was to a nearby shop to grab cigarettes.

A few days before leaving to return to England, Smith said Hooper brought a bottle of shaving cream and groceries for him, which was paid for with his money.

“She gave me a bottle of Sunset Rum. I like to drink rum. She also gave me some other drinks to take to England,” Smith recounted.

Smith further stated that he saw the canned drinks that Hooper brought for him, which he stated had their seals intact, so he paid them no mind.

On July 24, at about 4 a.m., Smith said after checking in at the airport and clearing immigration, police constable 272 Chris John approached him in the departure lounge.

Smith said he was questioned and his suitcase was retrieved before he was taken to the Narcotics base for further questioning.

He said he was then taken to the barracks and was kept there for five days before being taken to court on cocaine charges.

“I put the can in the suitcase. I’m not sure how I got the cocaine. They were in the drink cans which I got from Lisa Hooper with the groceries,” he testified.

When asked why he was taking back the drinks to England, Smith said his ex-girlfriend’s father wanted him to bring back drinks that they can’t get in England.

“I know I was collecting drinks for my ex-girlfriend’s father.”

Smith also stated that his ex-girlfriend’s father sent money to hooper for him to stay at the hotel. He said he was shown on the Internet where he would be staying in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He added that his ex-girlfriend, along with her children, was supposed to also be a part of the vacation trip provided by her father, but due to the fact that the children had already been absent from school for a long period, she would have faced legal trouble if the children stayed away any longer.

Under cross-examination by Hooper’s counsel, Jomo Thomas, Smith was asked if he had a conversation with Hooper about drugs, to which he replied no.

Thomas put it to Smith that he told police officers about a man by the names of “Flesh” and “Calvin,” whom Smith informed the court are the same person.

“Calvin is my ex-girlfriend’s dad.”

Thomas also asked Smith if when he went to the store he saw any of the three cans that contained the cocaine on display.

Smith replied “No! Only drinks on display were Pepsi, Cola and fruit juice. It was not a big shop.”

“I’m suggesting that Hooper never brought drugs to you!” Thomas said.

“I never said she brought drugs to me. I never told the police that either,” Smith replied.

Thomas further suggested that it was someone other than Hooper who supplied him with the drugs.

“I don’t know who supplied the drugs,” Smith answered, adding that Hooper was the only person who visited him while at the hotel.

In a video interview with Hooper, accompanied by her lawyer, which was shown live in court, Hooper told the police that Smith was lying when he said she was the one who brought the cans filled with cocaine for him.

She admitted that she bought food items for Smith, but never gave him the cans.

Further in that interview, conducted by investigating officer, PC Chris John and Sergeant Pedro Harry, Hooper said her boyfriend, whose name she gave as Garfield Mattis, told her that Smith was coming to St Vincent and the Grenadines on a holiday and that she should meet him at the airport.

Hooper said Smith never told her the reason why he came here.

During the testimony of Sergeant Harry, he told the court that several Western Union receipts were discovered at the home of Hooper, totalling thousands of dollars, sent by her boyfriend over a period of eight months, with most of the transactions being done in July 2013.

Harry told the court that the money had some nexus to Smith and found that there was something “strange” about the receipts.

Hooper said those monies were sent to her to pay bills and also noted that she has a young child with Mattis.

Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias adjourned the matter for continuation on Tuesday, March 25.

Senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche leads the case for the Crown.

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