Court of Appeal varies sentence of Mahaut man

A Mahaut man, Tommy Henry, who in late 2017, was convicted on charges of possession of firearm, ammunition, cannabis, cultivation of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, on February 11, 2019 had his appeal against his sentence slightly varied by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal now sitting in Dominica.

Henry was fined EC$45,000.00 for the possession of the cannabis (six thousand grams) and for the possession of a firearm, $7,500.00. For the ammunition, he was fined $2,500.00 to be paid forthwith. That fine was paid immediately.

However, Henry did not pay the $45,000.00 or $7,500. Instead he appealed the $45,000 fine, calling it “excessive.” He had been ordered to pay that fine in installments of five thousand dollars within nine months and in default of any payment, 4 months jail.

His lawyer, Gina Abraham from the chambers of Wayne Norde, told the court that her client, a farmer, had suffered heavy losses after the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017 just a few months after his conviction and was not able to meet the installments. However, the court reminded her that the punishment of the court must be a “sting” and have its desired effect.

She also argued that since the maximum sentence was one hundred thousand dollars for the cannabis, the magistrates ought not to have used this as a starting point for his sentencing.

“We appealed against the sentencing for the cannabis. In our view, we felt that the Learned Magistrate erred in law when he started his calculations from the maximum sentence which by law, is one hundred thousand dollars. Our view is that he ought to have started with a notional sentence of what the court considers a starting point and that starting point should not have been the maximum,” Abraham said.

After careful consideration and deliberation, the judges decided to vary the fine of 45 thousand to 33 thousand in addition to the $7, 500.00 which was not appealed, making it a total of $40, 500.00 with the first payment to be made on March 1, 2019. The amount is to be paid in nine monthly installments as was directed by the magistrate. In default of any payment, Henry will go to jail four months.

“Although the discount is not much but again, it proves the point that magistrates should consider not necessarily the maximum fine when they are imposing sentence but a starting point if the matter had gone to trial; if the person was found guilty,”. Abraham stated.

The court of appeal continues its sitting at the Roseau High court.

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5 Comments

  1. February 13, 2019

    02/13/2019

    The father says: The final bow is being placed upon your present. It is your generation that will see the appointed time, that I have set aside for this time. Soon you will understand the reasons for the pushing and pulling. There is a new attack being released on writers and pioneers right now. As I saw this attack against writers and pioneers, we need to turn our backs on the enemy. This attack is bringing weariness and dread, as I saw fire on laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices. He is attempting to keep you down. The enemy is attempting to lock you down with anxiety. I will use you so sit and enjoy the uniqueness I created. Let the waters from the deep rise up and flood your life. For the church can fool many but not me. I have you as the night watchman forever. Shine out in your region. You were made to subdue the earth. If I want to bless and favor I do not consult no man. It is not illegal or unworthy to be wealthy. The enemy of your soul desires…

  2. max
    February 12, 2019

    I guess the farmer should be planting dasheen etc etc etc.

  3. alas
    February 12, 2019

    hold up. the charged him 45000$ for cannabis(a herb that is almost at a legal state) but just 7500$ for the gun. this judge shows just how unfair the system is. now he has to grow more cannabis to pay for this unfair judgment. sad…..

  4. Joel
    February 12, 2019

    So after we cripple the poor farmer, we charging him a cool 5 thousand a month. So what we telling him he have to do for it to make that money :s

  5. Ti Garcon
    February 12, 2019

    wait a minute, didn’t they just fine some Venezuelans caught with 28kg of COCAINE and fined only $25,000?!

    And you want to hit a black man with $45,000 for 6kg of weed?!

    This system just brutal on a black man.

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