Despite being offered bail, six men, including a teenager, have been remanded to Dodds on a number of offences connected to $1.5 million in drugs.
Raoul Hardat Singh, 54, of Strathclyde Drive, St Michael; Joshua Aaron Singh,19, of No. 24 Coral Land, Haggatt Hall, St Michael and Richard Trevor Nurse, 50, of 5th Avenue, Holders Land, Brandons, St Michael, are accused of possession, possession with intent to traffic and possession with intent to supply 800 pounds of cannabis on June 14.
David Edward Forde, 50, of Risk Road, Fitts Village, St James is accused of committing a preparatory act for the purpose of trafficking cannabis and trafficking of the drug on the same date.
Dale Eugene Gill, 46, of No. 26 Oleander Drive, Enterprise, Christ Church, and Ryan O’Neal Griffith, 44, of Lucas Street, St Philip are accused of committing the same offences as Forde between June 13 and 14, while Griffith and Gill are accused of importing cannabis on June 14.
The accused men were not required to plead to the indictable charges when they appeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant this morning with their attorneys.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Cameron Gibbons, objected to bail based on the seriousness of the charges and the quantum of the illegal drugs involved, which he said had an estimated street value of $1.5 million.
He also said lawmen were still searching for other suspects and the accused men could hamper investigations if granted bail.
He further stated that Nurse was a national of Guyana who arrived here back in April for a six months stay, while Forde had dual citizenship – here and in England.
However, Andrew Pilgrim, QC, who is representing Nurse and the Singhs, argued that his clients were fit candidates for bail as they had no previous convictions.
Pilgrim said it would be “an affront to commonsense” to remand 19-year-old Singh who has never been before the courts and that the Crown was requesting that he be remanded knowing that “matters do no go to trial within three years”.
Nurse, he said, was a regular visitor to the island and had never before ran afoul of the law and also had substantial family ties here, while Raoul Singh had a matter pending in the court for over two years.
“There is no justification for keeping them in custody,” the prominent attorney stated.
Attorney-at-law Steve Gollop, who is representing Griffith, also submitted that his client’s criminal record was clean and the prosecutor had to go further than to say the matters before the court were serious.
“In 2018 it is not enough for one to lose his liberty after the prosecutor says that the charge is serious. Griffith comes to court with a clean record . . . and is a fit and proper candidate for bail with the appropriate conditions,” Gollop said.
Meanwhile, Arthur Holder, the legal counsel for Forde and Gill, argued that bail had been granted to other persons in the past accused of possession of higher quantities of drugs and “not one went to jail for a day”.
“There needs to be consistency . . . . We need to be realistic. One cannot use remand as a punishment or sentence. They are dutiful people with jobs . . . People who can work to get this country out of this economic rut,” Holder submitted, adding that stringent conditions could be imposed to secure their attendance at court.
Following the submissions the magistrate ruled in favour of the defence and set bail at a million dollars each with strict conditions.
Nurse and Joshua Singh are to be placed on curfew, while all six men must hand their passports over to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court and report to a police station three times a week.
However, the accused men were unable to post the bail sum today and were remanded until July 18.