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Rose Hall teen fined EC$5,700 for cannabis possession

Rose Hall teen fined EC$5,700 for cannabis possession

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A Rose Hall teenager was yesterday fined EC$5,700 for having 12 pounds of cannabis in his possession, despite the Crown’s plea to “give him a chance.”

When 17-year-old Antonio Ferdinand appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court, he was charged that on May 20, 2017, at Richmond, he had 2,868 grams of cannabis, with intent to supply to another.

Ferdinand pleaded guilty to the charge and the court heard that he was arrested about 3:55 p.m. in the vicinity of the Richmond Vale Academy.

A unit of Rapid Response Unit (RRU) officers was on mobile patrol in the area when PC Jackson saw Ferdinand attempt to throw a green backpack over an embankment.

She requested a search and found a number of taped packages containing the drug and took the teenager to the Chateaubelair Police Station, where he was formally charged.

However, Ferdinand told the court that he was sitting in Richmond with “Super Dan” when a young boy passed and asked him (Ferdinand) to follow him somewhere and the boy gave the teenager the backpack.

“Why you not in school?” interrupted senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche. It turned out that the teenager was thrown out of school for fighting.

However, Delpesche said that it is not common for schools to throw out a student for just fighting and told the teen that he is hiding something.

“What happen, stupid marked across my face?” questioned Browne-Matthias in response to Ferdinand’s story.

The Chief Magistrate, who appeared to be annoyed at this point, said that she was minded to give the teen a two-year sentence, to act as a deterrent.

She went on to state that it’s the first time the teenager was caught, but he is definitely involved in the illegal activity.

“You will pay for your stupidity today,” she asserted.

However, Delpesche told the court that he would not recommend a custodial sentence, and urged the Chief Magistrate to be merciful.

“I feel that he should be given a second chance because of his age,”

The senior prosecutor said that while it is against the law to be in possession of the drug, his heart goes out to the youngster because he was also once 17 years old, adding that Ferdinand could be redeemed.

The court heard that the teen was thrown out of school a few months ago at age 16 – he was in third form.

Delpesche told the court that his mother is a hard-working lady who does legitimate farming and has tried her best with her teenage son. “Let us see how he tries to put himself on the straight and narrow.”

However, Browne-Matthias said that the teen left Rose Hall to go to Richmond instead of doing something positive and he would be punished, as she cannot overlook the quantity and packaging of the drug.

He was fined EC$5,700, of which $500 was to be paid forthwith. In default, the teen would be sentenced to one month imprisonment.

The balance of $5,200 is to be paid by October 5, 2017, or he will face a one-year jail term. (AS)

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