A Liberian national who has been residing in Dominica illegally for over a year has been sentenced to serve one month in prison after pleading guilty to the possession of cannabis.

Additionally, he was ordered to be removed from the state upon serving that sentence.

Spencer Garnett who came to Dominica on a boat which he worked as a cook, has been living in Portsmouth since his arrival even after his application to stay was denied by the immigration department.

Garnett told a Roseau magistrate that he had no contact with anyone else in the world except with someone in the US whom he has been trying to get in touch with.

He had, according to the prosecutor, lived in the Caribbean since 2007.

Garnett was apprehended by police after a report of threats was launched against him on January 31.

Police met the defendant at a shop in Glanvillia where he was confronted about the report.

The police say he was searched and a quantity of marijuana found in his possession.

“This is marijuana, I am not a seller I just bought it to smoke,” the Liberian told police.

When Magistrate Candia George asked the defendant whether he knew if cannabis was illegal he replied “yes”.

About his illegal stay, Garnett explained to the court that when he first came to Dominica he visited a Petite Savanne woman and later found out that his passport had expired, as did his cooking contract on the vessel on which he came.

He said he went to immigration to get an extension but was denied.

In a plea of mitigation, the defendant said he was very sorry for the offense and was just trying to get through life.