The vigilance of Corporal 296 Davis and Constable 540 Sam, both of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), prevented a quantity of prohibited items, including marijuana, from entering Her Majesty’s Prison, Kingstown, last Saturday.
That action also led to Oscar Samuel, 40-year-old janitor of New Montrose, being sentenced to four months in prison, on Tuesday.
Before sentencing, the Serious Offences Court heard that around 12:15 p.m. last Saturday, Davis and Sam were on duty and while travelling through Paul’s Avenue, they said Samuel attempting to throw a plastic bag over the prison wall.
When the officers shouted to him, he took off his slippers, left the bag with its contents and ran. The bag was secured and the officers went in search of Samuel.
As they patrolled the Wilson Hill area, not far from Paul’s Avenue, the officers spotted as Samuel as he made to enter a gap. He ran when he saw the police and jumped over the fence of the nearby Anglican Church Yard.
The officers pursued him and Constable Sam caught him in that yard.
When cautioned, he told the police, “Is weed and ting in de bag. Is a work me go do.”
A search of the bag in his presence, revealed four smaller plastic bags, each containing marijuana, four packs of Pall Mall cigarettes, nine cigarette lighters, tobacco leaves, three bottles of alcohol and six packs of wrapping paper.
Samuel was cautioned again, and replied, “Is a man me go help.”
He was arrested and on January 29 he was formally charged with attempting to induce prohibited items into He Majesty’s Prison.
The charge was laid under Section 47(b), Chapter 393, of the Prison Act.
Samuel pleaded guilty when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne at the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday. He was unrepresented.
The Chief Magistrate’s stressed the seriousness of the offence, as well as the consequences. She noted that a person could be fined up to $1,500, in addition to a six months prison sentence for such an offence.
In outlining the aggravating factors, Browne said Samuel attempted to breach security protocols, and that he did so during a weekend that included two public holidays (January 22 and 25) declared for public health reasons, and during which persons were asked to stay indoors.
She also noted that Samuel attempted to evade law enforcement, and that he had previous convictions.
Browne said there were no mitigating factors in relation to the offence, but that he would benefit from a one third discount on his sentence, as he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.
Using three months as a starting point, she added one month for each aggravating factor, and took away two months, in relation to the one third discount and arrived at the four-month sentence.