By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A drug lord is now questioning the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to stipulate that he goes to prison for two more years if he fails to pay a $250,000 fine after upholding his conviction for the possession of $1.2m worth of marijuana.
Melvin Maycock Sr, who is now represented by Jerone Roberts, has until June 3 to prepare for the application after the appellants served their documents to the court this week.
Ambrose Armbrister, who appeared for the Crown, said he had not received any documents and was not in a position to respond, although he was of the view that there was no application before the court because of how the matter originally began.
The appellate court, however, said it would hear the application because of the issue of jurisdiction being raised.
They went on to chastise Mr Roberts for late service of the documents to the court and to the Crown, whom he said should have received their submissions before the end of yesterday.
In February, the drug convict’s then lawyer Roger Gomez II asked the court if it would allow his client to pay the fine in instalments. However, Mr Gomez was of the view that the court has the jurisdiction to do so, notwithstanding the application being relatively new to the country’s second highest court.
Mr Armbrister, however, has questioned the basis on how in law the application could be made to the appellate court. They were given time by the appellate court to do research and produce an authority case defending their respective positions on the matter.
In April, however, Maycock Sr dismissed the services of Mr Gomez and retained Mr Roberts to plead his case, where he is now also questioning the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to stipulate that he receive two additional years in prison if he failed to pay an increased fine of $250,000.
Maycock Sr was convicted in Magistrate’s Court for possession of $1.2m worth of marijuana and sentenced to three years in prison as the magistrate took into consideration that he had already served two years in prison on remand.
On appeal against that conviction, the judges said they could find no fault with the magistrate’s ruling.
However, having dismissed the appeal, the appellate court added a $250,000 fine to better reflect the worth of the confiscated drugs.
Maycock Sr, who has already completed his sentence, was told by the appellate court that he would face an additional two years in prison if he failed to pay the fine.