Curtis Oneal Spencer was given six months to pay a $15,000 fine for marijuana possession. If he doesn’t pay up, he will have to spend 18 months in jail.
That was the sentence handed down by Magistrate Christopher Birch today after Spencer pleaded guilty to possession, trafficking, intent to supply and cultivating eight kilogrammes of marijuana, and having related apparatus for use.
The 35-year-old Hothersal Land, St John resident was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for cultivation but that sentence was suspended for 18 months.
He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged for intent to supply the drug, while he was reprimanded and discharged for trafficking and having apparatus fit for use in connection with marijuana.
In his mitigation, attorney-at-law Damien Sands told the court that his client had been unemployed since 2010 and had tried to find gainful employment ever since.
Sands also urged the court to consider alternatives to incarceration, such as a suspended sentence or a fine.
“Let this be the last offence you turn up with in any jurisdiction,” Magistrate Birch said. “Most fellows start with a spliff and work their way up. You came top drawer. Come back again at your peril.”
Police saw Spencer at an abandoned house in St John last week, cutting plants with a scissors. He later showed them a quantity of ganja hanging on a string, as well as a bushy area where they discovered 151 plants.