Keith Fitzgerald Anderson Batson was released from jail last December 9 but by the following day, he was dabbling with cocaine and running afoul of the law.
Just as interesting is the fact that police on patrol found Batson with apparatus which he intended to use in connection with cocaine, after he called out to them. He was charged for the offence.
When the 44-year-old first appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant, he was sent to the psychiatric hospital for evaluation after he was rambling and swearing in the dock.
On his return to court yesterday, this time before acting Magistrate Alliston Seale, the charge was put to him again and this time Batson admitted committing the offence.
Sergeant Janice Ifill then outlined how police were on mobile patrol along President Kennedy Drive, St Michael and when they reached the old Mannings compound, they heard someone shout from the car park.
They turned the vehicle around and saw Batson bare-backed and carrying a haversack on his back. The bag had a shirt falling out of either side. When the police officers spoke to Batson, the unemployed man told them that he had been released from prison only the day before.
He also willingly gave them his name and address but since he was sweating profusely while doing so, the policemen became suspicious and requested a search. While he was taking the haversack off, Batson dropped a piece of metal, which he told police was “my scraper…I was going to use it for cocaine.” Lawmen also found a bottle with mesh.
Batson then told the officers that he needed help. He said the bottle was someone else’s which they had given to him to use to smoke cocaine.
“I need help,” Batson reportedly told the policemen.
“It is easy to say ‘I want help’ when you are held by police,” Seale stressed to Batson yesterday, “but commitment is also required from you.”
The convicted man then told the court that persons at the psychiatric hospital had told him he could attend the “day programme” there.
With that in mind, the acting magistrate sentenced Batson to 18 months’ probation and ordered him to enrol in the Day Drug Rehabilitation Programme by today.
“The best I can do for you is to see if we can manage you for the next 18 months, if you help in managing yourself,” Seale said. He also warned the repeat offender that if he does not stop using drugs, “we are going to find you somewhere dead on this cocaine.”
“So find yourself down at psychiatric hospital tomorrow to enrol in this programme,” the magistrate added.