In a bid to find money to save her Christ Church property from foreclosure, a Barbadian living in Canada
for the past 14 years was caught yesterday trying to smuggle drugs into the island through the Bridgetown Port.
Syndie Brendalyn Reece, 39, will have a week to reflect on her actions at HMP Dodds where she was remanded
today after appearing in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court and pleading guilty to four charges of possession of cannabis, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation.
Pleading with Magistrate Douglas Frederick not to impose a custodial sentence, Reece’s attorney Kim Sealy explained that her client had run into financial difficulties. She revealed that Reece had bought a property at #38 Manchester Close, Platinum Heights, Christ Church in 2005 and was accustomed to making monthly payments on the mortgage.
However, the lawyer said her client “took a chance,” after experiencing financial difficulties, fearing that the bank would foreclose on her property. “She took a chance. She is adamant this is the first time she has ever engaged in such activity. My client reached a point of desperation and fearing foreclosure, made an extremely poor decision,” Sealy told the court.
Sealy also pointed to the fact that Reece was a first time offender and had pleaded guilty to all of the charges. “I ask you to consider a non-custodial sentence and exercise as much leniency as possible,” the lawyer pleaded.
Magistrate Frederick said he had taken several factors into consideration, including the fact that she was not known to the court, had dual citizenship and had pleaded guilty. However, he made it clear that due to the “complexity of the matter”, if he decided to impose a fine, it would be a fairly hefty one with severe penalties if not paid.
He also questioned if imposing a fine would not put Reece under more financial pressure and possibly force her into more illegal activity.
However, Sealy gave an assurance that if Reece was fined, a friend had already volunteered to assist with paying it.
Magistrate Frederick then remanded Reece until September 9 when she will be sentenced.
The court heard that on September 1, Reece went to the Bridgetown Port to clear a barrel of personal items imported from Canada.
Customs officers conducted a search of her barrel and found five packages of compressed cannabis, three of which were hidden in separate Corn Flakes boxes, while the other two were found hidden in a bucket of soap powder.
Reece was detained, arrested and later charged by police for the offences.