A St John man yesterday pleaded guilty to a crime he claimed he did not commit.
Appearing before presiding Magistrate Douglas Frederick, Anthony Yarde, 56, of New Castle, St John argued that a quantity of cocaine found on a table at which he was sitting did not belong to him.
Reading from the fact sheet, the police prosecutor revealed that officers patrolling the Reed Street area, also known as Blue City Block, saw the accused sitting at a table with a transparent plastic bag. A powdered white substance, the prosecutor revealed, was also seen in the bag with a small black bottle next to it.
When Yarde saw the police, he reportedly discarded that items, which were retrieved by lawmen. Asked to account for the items, the accused man allegedly admitted “it was mine [and] I try to get rid of them when I see wunnuh coming.”
That offence occurred around 12:15 this morning.
However, Yarde told the court mere hours later, “that was not mine, but the officers pin it on me”.
Frederick then questioned why he was pleading guilty and whether he wanted to change his plea, to which Yarde said; “no”.
It was then that the magistrate sounded this warning to the other young men who were appearing on different drug charges: “Youngsters in here, do you see how you graduate? You start with marijuana, then you steal, then you graduate to cocaine. . . . [Drugs] are no respecter of persons. He is an intelligent man, but all that is wasted, [all because] you have to use to relax,” he lamented.
Yarde was convicted, reprimanded and discharged for possession, possession with intent to supply and trafficking.
He received a nine months sentence for possession of an “apparatus and intent to use”.