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Appeal Court Hears Debate On Drug Trial Evidence

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on whether sufficient evidence was produced in a drug trial for a pilot to be convicted and sentenced for possession of $250,000 worth of cocaine.

Justices Anita Allen, Stanley John and Neville Adderley listened to submissions on Patrick Pyfrom’s behalf by Murrio Ducille, who claimed that the Crown had not produced enough evidence to support the conviction of his client.

However, before the attorney gave his submissions, Crown prosecutor Anthony Delaney submitted to the court that there was enough circumstantial evidence to warrant a conviction for the offences.

Pyfrom, 48, who had been charged along with Valentino Collie, 41, was convicted and sentenced on April 4 on four drugs charges – importation of dangerous drugs, conspiracy to import dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply and conspiracy to possess dangerous with intent to supply.

It was alleged that they committed these crimes on January 16, 2011, after flying the drugs from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

On the day in question, both men were arrested by police at Lynden Pindling International Airport after disembarking from a private plane. The drugs, weighing 41 pounds and valued $256,000, was found in a suitcase that was being carried off the plane.

Mr Delaney submitted that these facts, along with the circumstance that before landing in the capital, Pyfrom made a stop in Stella Maris, Long Island, amounted to enough evidence for a conviction.

Mr Ducille countered by pointing out that the Crown had claimed his client not only knew about the drugs on the plane, but also tried to evade airport officials and failed to hand over a declaration form noting where he and his co-captian were flying from.

The attorney submitted that his client being on board a plane was not proof that he knew of the $256,000 worth of cocaine discovered there on Janaury 16, 2011.

He added that his client could not have tried to evade officials while exiting the plane because officials and police officers were outside the plane as he was exiting.

Mr Ducille said the Crown did not produce any evidence to corroborate the claim that his client stopped in Long Island.

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