For the second time this week, entertainer Betty Griffith-Payne and two co-accused have been remanded to Dodds prison, in connection with $625,000 worth of cocaine.
The 38-year-old former Richard Stoute Teen Talent winner, of Apartment No. 8, West Terrace Heights, St James, first appeared in court here on Monday, along with her 35-year-old sister Marie Griffith, of Phillips Road, Cleaver’s Hill, St Joseph, and 34-year-old Guyanese national Kwanza Canterbury, and was initially sent to Dodds for two days.
Today, the trio was remanded to prison for a further 28 days on charges of possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and conspiracy to traffic 12.6 kilos of the illegal drug, sometime between November 7 and 10.
The sisters are also jointly accused with knowingly handling the illicit substance during that same period.
Today, Station Sergeant Janice Ifill, who is representing the Crown, objected to bail, based on the seriousness of the offences and the amount of drugs involved.
However, attorney Marlon Gordon described as “nebulous” the street value attached to the cocaine, while questioning how police had arrived at the amount.
He also repeated his earlier submission that Griffith-Payne was a Barbadian with strong family ties, no prior convictions and was willing to adhere to any conditions imposed by the court.
Gordon, who is also legal counsel for Canterbury, submitted that the Guyanese man was presently in the country on a legitimate work permit and had also never been convicted.
He also revealed that the accused man’s family had sent attorney Dexter Todd, who was present in court, from Georgetown to observe the proceedings.
Appearing today for the first time for Griffith-Payne was legal counsel Angella Mitchell-Gittens. She urged the magistrate to exercise her discretion and to grant bail to her client, arguing that the seriousness of the offence was not sufficient to keep her behind bars.
The attorney further argued that, like the High Court, the District ‘E’ Magistrates’ Court could grant bail on the indictable offence, once “particular considerations” had been satisfied.
Mitchell-Gittens also pointed out that sureties were present to secure the entertainer’s bail.
Attorney Naomi Lynton made a similar application for Marie Griffith, saying that her close-knit family was “devastated” over the length of time the mother of four had been on remand so far, and therefore it “should not continue”.
However, in denying the requests for bail, the magistrate said, “I know you said they are fit here and fit up there [High Court], but I think they will be fitter up there”, she said as she remanded the trio to the St Philip institution until December 14.