Charged for drugs, jailed for fine
A 53-year-old man who appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court Friday on a drug charge ended up at HMP Dodds for a totally different reason.
Phillip Livingston King, of Lennox Avenue, Goodland, St Michael, was sent to prison for an unpaid fine, after he pleaded guilty to having $17.50 worth of cannabis in his possession Thursday.
According to the facts outlined by the prosecutor, police were on patrol along President Kennedy Drive just after 10 p.m. when they stopped the motorcar in which King was travelling.
A plastic bag was seen protruding from his pocket, which caused lawmen to request a search, to which King consented.
In admitting to the offence of possession of cannabis, he told police that weed was legal in some parts of the world and he could have it.
However, it was King’s past that came back to haunt him when the prosecutor informed the court that he had been ordered to pay $2,000 back in 2014 on a similar charge.
He had been given 12 weeks to pay and told that he would spend nine months in prison if he didn’t.
King told Magistrate Frederick Friday that while he had been paying, he “might have not paid all”. He said he had shelled out about $1,500 but had some work to do and spent the rest of the money.
However, the magistrate reminded King that the fine was imposed two years ago, and then made a request for the police to probe whether the money had, in fact, been paid.
It was discovered that King had a $440 balance and had been given an extension to pay, but never returned to the court.
He was then told that a warrant had been issued for him and it was imperative that he pay the amount today.
“I cannot release you,” Frederick said as he advised King to make a phone call to get someone to help.
King then informed the magistrate that his ATM card was not functioning properly and he would have to go into the bank to get the money.
“Just give me 45 minutes to go and come back,” he pleaded.
But Frederick told King he could not trust him because he had never returned to court to pay his dues.
“Who am I to say you will come back?”
The magistrate then remanded King to HMP Dodds until March 23, again advising him to get someone to pay the money.