UWI student pleads guilty to drug charges
A University the West Indies student pleaded guilty to four drug charges when he appeared before a Bridgetown court earlier Thursdsay.
Shaquille Curtly-Ryan Callender of #50 Serenity Hill, Kendal, St John apologized to the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today, telling Acting Chief Magistrate Douglas Frederick that he was “sorry” and had “made a mistake”.
“I apologize to my parents for the difficult situation I put them in and caused them a lot of embarrassment,” the 23-year-old bartender added.
Callender pleaded guilty to possession, importation, trafficking and intent to supply the 0.5 kilogrammes of cannabis which police found in a speaker box, as well as 237 grammes of the substance found in a second box.
Prosecutor Sergeant Martin Rock told the court that two boxes supposedly containing multi-media speakers which were shipped to Barbados carried Callender’s name but a different address.
Callender went to the General Post Office on Wednesday, presented his identification, cleared one box and left. Once outside he was intercepted by police, who he advised of a second box which Customs officials later handed over to the lawmen. They later discovered five packages of marijuana in one box and 15 in the other.
Callender also told police he was offered $500 to clear the boxes.
His attorney Wilfred Abrahams took Callender to task for his actions, even as he begged the court to be lenient to the first-time offender.
Abrahams explained that his client “came from a good family” which was hardworking, well-respected and supportive. He added that Callender had seven CXC certificates and was a former Combermere student who tended bar sometimes.
The lawyer added that his client met a Caucasian woman on the beach who he was certain had “used him”. She has since left the island, Abrahams said, adding that he had questioned his client about why the person whose address was on the box had not collected the items.
Describing it as “even more astounding,” Abrahams explained that Callender “does not use drugs nor has a drug habit”. “He is not a criminal, Sir,” the attorney stressed, stating that he could not tell the court what justice to mete out but remarked: “He has had an exemplary record to date . . . he is the perfect candidate for probation or a bond.”
“I believe in young people,” the legal representative told the Acting Chief Magistrate, “and I believe that the person who you give a break to today might do something great later.”
Frederick stressed that Callender was intelligent and had “the capacity to know the difference between right and wrong”, adding that “for a small amount of money” Callender had been willing to bring drugs into Barbados to wreak havoc on people.
“You would be aware of the drug rehabilitation programmes and the damage drugs are doing to this society,” Frederick stressed.
Referring to the educational opportunities Callender has had so far, the magistrate queried whether he did not think those to whom the drugs would be sold wanted to benefit from similar opportunities.
“It was an irrational decision on my part, Sir,” Callender replied.
Frederick ordered a pre-sentencing report on the young man, granted him $10,000 bail and adjourned the case until September 13 when the young man will be sentenced.
Attorney Alexandria Daniel also appeared on Callender’s behalf.