Two men who pleaded guilty to drugs possession have been slapped with fines by Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste this week.
Bus driver, 36-year-old Cheddy Joseph, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis after members of the Drug Squad on Saturday October 13 searched his bus HA604 and found a small quantity of the illegal drug.
Joseph told the court that he was the father of nine children and though his lawyer Peter Alleyne begged for mercy, he was fined $900 to be paid by March 2013 or spend six months in jail.
In another matter, 47-year-old Kenneth Romain Jno. Baptiste of Dubique, who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and possession with intent to supply 300 grams of the illegal drug, was slapped with a fine of $5,000.
Reports are that the police, armed with a search warrant, went to his home at around 5:30 am on Saturday Oct 13, and demanded that he open the door. Jno. Baptiste refused and the lawmen had to force their way into the house. When asked about the drugs which was discovered in room, he responded, “a small weed that there to smoke.”
In mitigation Jno. Baptiste apologized for his actions and behaviour. “I have seven children to care for they are all at school … things are rough with me,” he said.
Not impressed by his excuse Magistrate Baptiste labeled his actions a “a very poor example.”
“See what’s happening with drug users … they are suffering, they are angry. You are a big man and people like you are the ones contributing to the social breakdown in society, you can do better, there’s a lot of political breakdown in society and you can do much better,” Baptiste stated.
Jno Baptiste was fined $2,000.00 for possession and given March 1, 2013 to pay up or in default, spend seven months in the slammer. He was also fined $3,000.00 for possession with intent to supply to be paid also by March 1, 2013 or spend eight months behind bars.