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Wrong draw

Artist upset over remand for give-bag

A man who was remanded to prison for having a “five-bag” of marijuana last Saturday believes he was treated unfairly.

Maurice Sandiford, who appeared before Magistrate Wayne Clarke in the District “A” Magistrates Court and was remanded to HMP Dodds to reappear at Holetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday, told Barbados TODAY he was angry he received such a “harsh punishment” when there were people “out here murdering, raping and robbing people and getting bail.”

Maurice Sandiford is upset over the treatment he received for having  a  “five-bag” of marijuana in his possession. Here, Sandiford shows how his hands were chained when he was sent to prison.

Maurice Sandiford is upset over the treatment he received for having a
“five-bag” of marijuana in his possession. Here, Sandiford shows how his hands were chained when he was sent to prison.

Speaking at his Porters, St James home, the professional artist said he was upset that he was not given the opportunity to be granted bail for having the substance in his possession which had a street value of $25.

“It feels horrible, terrible and disgraceful. The magistrate . . . just read me the charge, said it was not his jurisdiction and he sending me up for three days and three nights,” he said.

“I was in court shocked, my wife was shocked and the guys come in handcuffs and sent me straight to prison in shackles like it is slavery.”

Sandiford said he was treated as less than a human being during the two nights  – including Old Year’s and New Year’s Day – that he was locked up at the District “E” Police Station where he was forced to sleep on benches in an area that appeared unclean. However, he admitted that there were a few officers at the station who treated him “nicely.”

“It was awful and quite terrible coming from work and the police just pulled over and jumped on me just like that. They stripped me in public and even take off my pants, tourist around and everything,” he complained.

Sandiford said the judicial system should take into consideration the fact that marijuana was being legalized in a number of developed countries and should make recommendations to Government to decriminalize its use and at least allow people to have small quantities in their possession for personal use.

When he appeared before Magistrate Wanda Blair in the Holetown court, Sandiford was placed on a bond to keep the peace. He will have to pay a $500 fine if he fails to uphold it.

“I don’t get into trouble. Wealthy tourists come here looking for me for art. I help to save people from drowning and all of these things,” the artist insisted.

Meanwhile, prominent attorney-at-law and former president of the Barbados Bar Association, Andrew Pilgrim, QC, told Barbados TODAY that he was equally concerned about Sandiford being remanded.

Pilgrim too argued, “no one going to court with that amount of marijuana would expect that they would be going to prison that day and people are getting bail in this country for murder, for rape, for gun possession and for possession of 2 000 pounds of marijuana.”

“It is just very difficult to justify why a man who has no criminal record, 51-years-old, who doesn’t have any cases pending, who is not a flight risk would be made to sit in prison for four days before he is sentenced and then you see what the sentence was today. The sentence
is to be on good behavior for six months . . . ,” Pilgrim said.

Pilgrim argued that whether or not people feel that small quantities of marijuana should be legal, it should be appreciated that Barbados has
treated possession of that quantity as non-trafficable and for personal use as a minor offense.

34 Responses to Wrong draw

  1. Astral Macalesher
    Astral Macalesher January 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Foolishness stop locking up people for a tree that healing people

    • Dario K Alleyne
      Dario K Alleyne January 8, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Ort den .. would swear the man cooked it in a meth lab

  2. Tristan John
    Tristan John January 8, 2016 at 1:08 am
  3. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart January 8, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Time the lawmakers do their job and stop the harassing of citizens for minor stupidness…..the law is making itself a Ass….

  4. Amanda Greaves
    Amanda Greaves January 8, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Legalize it

  5. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love January 8, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Bajan people have something missing in there brains that needs to be studied bacause I cannot see how a black magistrate for that matter can imprison one of his own citizens away from his family for a bag of grass. I left that Island 19 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I would never return there to live under such ignorant Governance that has one rule for the poor majority and another for the wealthy minority. I do feel for you all.

    • Monica Benedict
      Monica Benedict January 8, 2016 at 3:54 am


    • Maria Leclair
      Maria Leclair January 8, 2016 at 4:06 am

      You have that right, it’s one of the very reasons why I could not bring myself to live their either.

    • SSS January 12, 2016 at 5:52 am

      Barbados will always be home to the SSS, but what exist on the island is nothing different to when Africans turn over their own to the white man for a few trinkets and shiny things. Bajan people treat their own with great disdain. The governance is all about improvement for the rich so that the rich can keep the money flowing in their pockets. The island is too small to be so darn corrupt.

  6. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair January 8, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Arresting him for a $25 bag of pot in it’s self is a crime.

  7. sandra Reid January 8, 2016 at 4:08 am

    That is a had price to pay for a bag of weed when people charged for murder can be granted bail and return to the streets to kill again . Why is alcohol legal ? I was born in Barbados and still have family and friends there , find the Guns and leave grown ass people alone with the little Weed .. Marijuana is not a killer Guns are !!!!!

  8. The Phanton January 8, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Become a CEO and rob poor people of a few million. big crime is worth the risk.

  9. Peachesnaddy Brown
    Peachesnaddy Brown January 8, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Wickedness pure wickedness

  10. miche January 8, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Justifying wrong,that all you are doing,,Until it is legalized,, having it is a crime,punishable by imprisonment or a fine. If you steal $10.00 Or you are a thief

  11. Johnson January 8, 2016 at 6:26 am

    He broke the laws of this country.

  12. Andrea January 8, 2016 at 7:11 am

    This is the craziest thing I have ever read in awhile. I have read about persons carrying guns/ shooting people or causing bodily harm. Read about politicians having hidden money in bank accounts in other countries. All of whom had bail granted but for $25.00 worth of weed you place a man in prison. Not only does this sound like the judge used bad judgement but the laws needs to be revised.

  13. Mr Mayers January 8, 2016 at 8:50 am

    The slave master is still in control and at this time he does not want the Barbadian people to be aware of the changes in the world Cannabis Is a natural healing plant that is good for so many things and is still illegal for some of the citizens in this world.
    people make laws and laws can be changed
    countries all over the world is coming to realization about this substance we here in Barbados is still behind the eight ball imprisoning a man for a $25 bag of weed is criminal to take this man from his family and place him in a penitentiary is truly criminal we must legalize it

  14. Rommel January 8, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Even though i understand the frustration , its still the law and until it changes my best advice is to try your best to keep out of its way . I totally disagree on the ignorance . What concerns me is i paid more than $25 for you to be locked up for 3 days and the country isnt more productive . i believe that a simple payment of time you should have given back to the country . Meaning 3 days of voluntarily work ( 8 hrs shifts ) should be given to the hospital, salvation army or care for the elderly.

  15. Ros January 8, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I agree with The phanton that’s how the system works in this world

  16. Owen January 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Wow! This system really needs restructuring, 4 days for a 5 bag smh!

  17. jrsmith January 8, 2016 at 11:17 am

    All you people who is laying , claims to leaving Barbados , and living else where, not ever to return , stop making excuses of not ,being able to return to our lovely Barbados. In the UK, the same thing would have happen but he would be on bail, in the great big USA, the same would have happen and if he ran or resisted , would have being f….ing shot dead. In Canada the same would have happen, he wouldn’t have had a slap on the backside and ask to behave in future….

    For me as bajan, I will condemn our useless politicians, but
    Barbados is the freest , most democratic country for( BLACK PEOPLE).. we have a way of life , which is envied ,all around the world… The white mans world is divide and rule, where ever you are. them and us.


    • Shell January 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Well said….that is all i am going to say…..

    • Donild Trimp January 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Geeze jr, take a deep breath, you are coming over as being real angry.

    • SSS January 12, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Have you ever seen the Prime Minister going around shopping?

  18. Susan January 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    And yet up to now there is now justice for little Jahan and the culprits are still free

  19. Alex Alleyne January 8, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Barbados latest STAR……

  20. Molly January 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    That is why the country sinking

  21. Paloma January 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Sounds good compared to England. We come Barbados a lot. In England, you get caught and you are watched for years. At least you do your time and then it ends.

  22. Alex Alleyne January 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I wonder if the fine was $500 and 100 hours of community service (as most of us think it should be) , if it would have received all this attention.

  23. MICHAEL LINDO January 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Though the treatment was kind of harsh in relation to more serious crimes,the fact still remains that he was in possession of a substance which under the present system. Until the laws have been amended, those in possession a liable to arrest and prosecution.

  24. Danny January 9, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I agree with Pilgrim!

  25. Mike January 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    The judicial sytem is broken and until it is fixed we will continue to see murders, gun bandits and other law breakers getting a slap on the risk. There should never be bail for those law breakers and a simple thing like this for someone who is not known as a law breaker having to spend time behind bars, give me a break. Look at the ZRs and mini bus vagabonds breaking the law with impunity. I guess who the cat like it lick and who it doesn’t it kick. You have to be a big up in bim.

  26. Rasta Ghoul January 12, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Barbados never ceases to amaze… If we really abandon fancy talk and focus on common sense everything becomes clear. I mean, how … can Barbados allow alcohol to be legal after all the accidents and actual deaths the abomination has caused, and ganja remains illegal while it has never caused a death in the history of man. We rather trust something made by the white man than something produced by Mother Earth herself. Never liked the System.


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