English visitor fined for drugs
An English law student visiting the island was ordered to paid $300 in cost to the court after admitting that he had a small quantity of marijuana in his possession yesterday.
Jordie Ntukila Divungula appeared today before acting Magistrate Elwood Watts in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court to answer the charge.
Sergeant Theodore McClean said police were on duty at Westbury Road, St Michael when they stopped the car in which Divungula was the front seat passenger. He said as the lawmen approached the vehicle, there was a strong scent of marijuana coming from inside.
They spoke to the 20-year-old and after conducting a search, found four grams of cannabis inside two grease-proof wrappings. The visitor admitted getting the weed from a man whom he did not know.
Today, Divungula apologized to the court. Asked what he was studying, he replied “business and law.”
“I hope you are studying how to uphold it and not how to break it,” remarked Watts. He added that since Divungula was leaving
the island soon, the best option would be to impose a fine.
Attorney-at-law Samuel Legay, who was present in the courtroom, rose. Speaking as a friend of the court, he asked the acting magistrate to consider costs rather than a fine.
Legay told the court he was “not trivializing the offence,” but to impose a fine would amount to a conviction which could affect Divungula’s chances of not only returning to Barbados, but visiting other countries as well.
“Do you understand the ramifications of what your simple actions have done? Never mind it is only four grams, it would still be recorded as a drug conviction,” the acting magistrate told Divungula.
Watts then ordered him to pay $300 forthwith with no conviction being recorded. The money was paid but since Immigration officials wanted to interview Divungula afterwards, the English visitor left the courtroom with them.