The Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by Daryl James and ordered that the matter go back to Magistrate Candia Carette-George, for sentencing.
James was convicted on charges of cultivating drugs, possession of drugs and firearm charges. He was fined a total of five hundred thousand eight hundred dollars, to be paid forthwith or in default, four and a half years jail.
The court noted that the magistrate ought to have conducted “a means test” to determine if James had the means to pay the fine. That will be done when the matter goes back to the magistrate for re-sentencing.
James was represented in the Court of Appeal by lawyer Darius Jones.
State Attorney Clement Joseph, who represented the DPP’s Office in the matter, conceded that the fines charged by the magistrate went beyond her jurisdiction.
Meantime, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) has praised the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for its level of “openness, fairness and good work”.
A number of magisterial appeals came before the appeals court and those matters were handled by State Attorney Clement Joseph attached to the office of the DPP.
Justice of Appeal Louise Blenman praised Joseph for his “thorough work” and advised him to pass on the knowledge to the magistrates. “We are very pleased with your work and want you to assist the magistrates so as to lesson the amount of appeals,” she said.
In another matter heard by the Court of Appeal, John Shillingford had his appeal against a conviction for for wounding, dismissed.
He was fined EC$900.00 for wounding Henry Shillingford with a stone in January 2012.