Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Junior Haynes, a 21-year-old Largo Height man, who admitted to the police and the Court that he was selling cocaine to ‘make a hustle’, was, on Tuesday fined $800 forthwith, or two months in prison for possession of 2.3 grams of the drug, with intent to supply.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne handed down the penalty at the Serious Offences Court, after Haynes pleaded guilty. He was unrepresented.

The Court heard that around 12:45 p.m. on April 15, members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) were on Mobile Patrol of Rose Place where they saw Haynes walking on the bridge in the vicinity of the public bath.

Appearing to have spotted the police transport, Haynes took a medicine bottle from his right front pocket, and threw it into a nearby river.

Constable Lesron Craigg who was part of the patrol, told the driver of the police vehicle to stop and he complied.

Craigg alighted the vehicle, and approached the defendant.

Haynes then went into the river, retrieved the medicine bottle and handed it over to Craigg. It was found to contain several wrappings of cocaine.  Haynes was wearing a waist purse containing $111.5 made up of various denominations.

When cautioned, Haynes told the police, “Is pon de street me live, ah hustle me ah hustle, and de money is from whey me done sell 20 pieces of cocaine.”

In his explanation to the Court on Tuesday, Haynes said he had been living on the street for six months, and he was seeking employment so that he could help his mother and two siblings, ages 9 and 13. He said his mother was also homeless and his father was an alcoholic.

“Daddy live in a rent house but he don’t want us there,” Haynes said, responding to questions from the Chief Magistrate.

He said he dropped out of school at Form 1.

When the Chief Magistrate asked the youngster if his mother could, clean, cook or wash, it was not clear what was his reply, but the Magistrate pointed out that even if his mother was not educated academically, there were things she can do to earn a living, like many other women have been doing to help themselves.

“She is a horrible mother. These are the things I detest, and I have no pity,” the Magistrate asserted.

She also advised Haynes to learn a skill as dropping out of school does not mean he cannot acquire other means of developing himself.

In handing down the penalty, Browne stressed that the drug with which Haynes was found was cocaine, which is not locally grown, and the defendant admitted that he was selling it.

She noted that Haynes was not using the drug himself but was selling it to others, thereby creating a category of persons of whom society has to be fearful. But she took into account Haynes’ explanation.

Browne said the offence fell in category four, which is the lowest category based on the weight of the drug.

In relation to mitigating factors, she highlighted the fact that Haynes cooperated with the police, and had no previous convictions. She noted that he was 21 and at that age the part of the brain which is responsible for making reasoned decisions, is still not fully developed.

She set the value of the 2.5 grams of cocaine with which Haynes was found at $600, and informed the defendant that the Court had the power to impose a fine of three times the value. But the Magistrate used 2.5 instead.

Haynes also earned a one-third discount on his sentence for his early guilty plea.

The Magistrate followed the sentencing guidelines, weighed the aggravating and mitigating factors,and did the calculations to arrive at the penalty.

The Magistrate also ordered that the $111.5 with which Haynes was found be forfeited to the consolidated fund.

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