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Defendant gets tongue-lashing from Chief Magistrate

Defendant gets tongue-lashing from Chief Magistrate

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A man who admitted to police that he sells marijuana for a living when they raided his home on Saturday, September 17 this year, was given a tongue-lashing and a fine by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias when he appeared in court Monday morning.

Rodney Tedd Browne carries the same last name as the Chief Magistrate (no relation to her), who commented that with a surname like “Browne”, the defendant should be more careful with the activities he gets involved in.

According to the Court, at around 5:25 a.m. last Saturday, members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) executed a search warrant in Enhams at Browne’s home.{{more}}

During the search, a police officer found 402 grammes or 0.925942 pounds of marijuana wrapped in a plastic bag, at which time Browne commented: “Officer is a small piece ah smoke me been have dey”.

As the search continued, more ganja was discovered – 2,528 grammes or 5.573286 pounds. According to the court prosecutor, the accused commented, “I does sell weed; that is my livelihood”.

Browne was then arrested and charged in connection with the controlled substance.

In court, on Monday, September 19, Browne asked the court for leniency on behalf of himself and his two sisters, who had come to court to show support.

The Chief Magistrate then commented that it is embarrassing when family members have to come to court to show support for such crimes, but opined that sometimes family members know that defendants are involved in the illegal activities and do nothing to stop them.

For the 402 grammes, Browne was fined EC$800 forthwith or three months in prison and on the 2,528 grammes charge, he was fined EC$5,700.

Magistrate Browne-Matthias asked the sisters how much money they had brought, to which they replied EC$2,660. The defendant was then ordered to pay EC$1,800 towards the EC$5,700 fine and the remainder of EC$3,900 by December 9, or face a one-year prison term.

Browne did not quite understand the Chief Magistrate’s ruling and when asked to repeat it more than once, Browne-Matthias commented, “Like dealing with these substance has darkened your brain”.

The Chief Magistrate then used local dialect to explain the charge.

“Fuh the 420 gramme, you hafi pay $800 now or go jail fuh three months and fuh the 2,528 grammes you haffi pay $1,800 now and pay the rest $3,900 before December 9th or go jail for a year. Yo understand now?” asked Browne-Matthias in her best dialect, after which the defendant said that he understood.

The fines were paid.

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