Teen gets chance

Strict conditions have been imposed on a 16-year-old boy who today admitted to using marijuana.

Raheem Ajani Orlando Hope, of Dalkeith Road, St Michael, went before District ‘A’ Magistrate Douglas Frederick this morning and pleaded guilty to having $73 worth of cannabis seeds in his possession while on Sobers Lane, St Michael, yesterday.

He had been standing in the area with a group of men, from whom the strong scent of burnt marijuana was emanating. When police approached them, Hope was seen fidgeting with his pants pocket and when he was searched, the seeds were found.

“I was moving them from the drawer in my bedroom,” he told the officers when asked to account for the 14.5 grammes of cannabis seeds.

In the dock today, he stuck to his story, saying that he found the seeds at one of his parent’s house and forgot to throw them away. Hope maintained that the seeds were not his.

Defence attorney Kamisha Benjamin asked the court to be lenient on the teen, saying that he was remorseful for his actions and, having spent the night in police custody, “never wanted to be there again”.

In speaking with the magistrate, Hope said he had “nothing happening with his life” at the moment, but had aspirations of learning a skill or two and was just waiting on the opportunity.

He was then interviewed by a probation officer who recommended that he undertake 80 hours of community service, be referred to drug counselling and undergo random drug testing to ensure he was not using illegal drugs.

The teenager returns to court for an update on May 18 and if he has shown to be successful in adhering to the orders enforced by the magistrate, his criminal record will be kept clean.

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