Magistrate offers drug accused way out of jail
A young man from St Michael was remanded to HMP Dodds for two days after his mother failed to secure a $1,000 fine owed to the District “A” Magistrates Court from 2015.
Andre Jermaine James, 26, of Ashby Alley, St Michael, Tuesday pleaded guilty to possession of 7.4 grams of cannabis.
In outlining the case, prosecutor Sergeant Martin Rock revealed that lawmen were in the area of Beckwith Street when James was seen among a group of men at a table.
The accused “quickly” left the table holding a bottle and headed towards a shop as the lawmen exited their vehicle.
James’ suspicious behaviour caught the attention of the law enforcement officials who ordered him to stop, but he continued to move in the direction of the shop, throwing the bottle on the floor.
The bottle was retrieved by police and examined in his presence.
It contained 46 transparent ziplock bags each containing cannabis.
Asked to account for it, the accused is reported to have said: “That is a little drugs I got to smoke, give me a break.”
The illegal substance had a street value of $38.70.
In court, Acting Chief Magistrate Douglas Frederick asked James whether he had paid the previous fines imposed on him by another magistrate for earlier drug charges.
It was then revealed that James had only paid for one fine and the latest, a $1,000 fine, was still unpaid. The alternative was four months’ imprisonment.
The magistrate said: “I will work with you, pay the fine today and I will place you on a bond to keep the peace.”
But by the end of court business today James’ mother had not yet returned with the monies owed.
The magistrate remanded him to HMP Dodds until Friday, by which time the money must be paid.
Failure to do so will see James spending four months behind bars.