Last chance

Jobless man given final opportunity to do the right thing

A 24-year-old unemployed man who admitted to drug possession got yet another chance but it may just come back to haunt him.

Reuben Benjamin Arthur, of Spooner’s Alley, Mason Hall Street, St Michael, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Douglas Frederick yesterday to possession, possession with intent to supply and trafficking 34 grammes of cannabis on January 4.

It was not Arthur’s first time before the law courts charged with such an offence. His conviction card showed that he had racked up four convictions, reprimands and discharges for his crimes, as well as community service.

The prosecutor disclosed that lawmen were on Mason Hall Street when they saw Arthur running away, holding on to his right pants pocket. His actions aroused their suspicion and the officers pursued and apprehended him.

Arthur was searched and 25 plastic wrappings with cannabis were found.

“Them is mine. I was running from the police and run into them,” Arthur allegedly said when asked to explain why the illicit substance, which weighed approximately 34 grammes and was worth $170, was in his possession.

“I get laid off two to three years ago and now I am working off and on. I didn’t have a good Christmas. I know it’s one day, but I like to enjoy it,” Arthur sought to explain.

However, Magistrate Frederick pointed out to Arthur that he had been given several chances in the past, which he failed to use in order to better himself.

Arthur responded that the quantity of drugs found in his possession this time was not as much as previous occasions.

“Honestly, I was just trying to put food on the table,” he said, as he explained that he had tried other ways to get money.

“Put yourself in my shoes,” Frederick, responded. “What would you do now if you had given a man all the chances available?”

To the surprise of those in the courtroom, Arthur responded: “Send him up the road [prison] to [relax] himself for two weeks.”

“But I still have my nephew to take care of . . . . I just need a chance [to get] a proper job. I try selling dunks, ackees [and] coconut water, everything Sir,” he said.

After hearing Arthur’s submission, Magistrate Frederick imposed a bond “to keep you out of trouble, but if you come back before the court you will face the penalty.”

“I am grateful, Sir,” replied Arthur, who has to keep the peace and be on good behaviour for six months.

If he breaches the bond, he will spend two months in prison.

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