By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was sentenced to 24 months in prison yesterday Kendal Nairn, 33, appeared before Magistrate Andrew Forbes facing a charge of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply concerning a seizure by police on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016 in Montell Heights.
When asked his plea to the charge, the accused answered “guilty to possession of dangerous drugs”.
The magistrate asked him to explain and he claimed that the drugs were for personal use.
“My sister have cancer,” he said.
Magistrate Forbes asked the police prosecutor if he was prepared to accept the lesser offence.
“No, your worship,” Supt Ercell Dorsett said.
Magistrate Forbes asked Nairn for his answer to the charge of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply. The accused pleaded guilty.
Around 2pm on the day in question, officers acted on a tip which led them to Palm Beach Court in Montell Heights where Nairn was the target of their inquiries.
Officers conducted a search of the building they saw Nairn in but found nothing resulting in the K-9 unit being called in for assistance.
“The K-9 unit was called in and officers searched the building again. The K-9 (police dog) sat at a particular spot and began scratching. This gave the officers a reason to break the sheetrock where they discovered 14 pounds of marijuana,” the police prosecutor said.
“The defendant was taken into custody and was invited to take part in an interview where he acknowledged the drugs and that he’d placed it where the K-9 found it,” the court heard.
Nairn was asked if he accepted the facts read by the prosecutor and the accused said the police dog did not find the drugs.
“Then we’ll go to trial,” the magistrate said.
Nairn questioned why and the magistrate said that if the prosecution and defendant disagree on the facts of the matter, then “certain facts will have to be established at trial”.
The Montell Heights resident then said he accepted the facts as read by the prosecutor.
“What is it you wish to say? Earlier you said you were getting the drugs to assist your sister who was dealing with cancer. How does that assistance equate to finding 14 pounds of marijuana in a wall is beyond me,” the judge said.
Nairn’s lack of a response and smiling disposition led him to be rebuked by the magistrate for not taking the arraignment seriously as he had a prior conviction for the same charge as recently as 2013 before then Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell.
“If you spend five or seven years of your life behind bars, you wouldn’t be leaving there until your late 30s or when you’re 40. You shouldn’t take it as a joke,” the magistrate stressed.
Magistrate Forbes sentenced Nairn to two years at the Department of Correctional Services to take effect from the date of conviction.
Nairn was advised of his right to lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeal if he disagreed with the punishment.