The officers who apprehended Ackeem Edmund Hepburn did not give him the ‘chance’ he asked for, so he turned to the court for leniency instead.
Luckily for Hepburn, a Jamaican national, Magistrate Douglas Frederick extended a “golden handshake” to him.
When the 27-year-old chef of Spooner’s Hill, St Michael, appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today he admitted to having cannabis in his possession on January 9, 2019.
In giving the facts, police constable Kevin Forde said police were on patrol in the Black Rock area when they saw a group of men liming. Hepburn was among that group and he began to walk away when he saw police.
However, he was eventually stopped and officers noticed a strong scent of cannabis was coming from him.
He consented to a search and a greaseproof wrapping was found in his right pants pocket containing vegetable matter. When asked to account for it he told officers, “I just got it to smoke. Give me a break.”
The drugs weighed 0.5 grams, which the prosecutor said had a street value of $50.
Attorney-at-law Harry Husbands who appeared for the accused initially questioned the value of the drugs, saying that it was extremely expensive considering the amount.
In his submission he said Hepburn had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had not wasted the court’s time. Husbands said his client was not known to the courts and had expressed remorse for his actions.
Husbands revealed that Hepburn had arrived in Barbados on September 11, 2018 and was due to return home on March 7, 2019. He said his client was a father of a seven-year-old daughter and a “perfect candidate for bail”.
The lawyer admitted that because Hepburn was not a Barbadian and was scheduled to leave the island soon, community service would not be an ideal sentence.
“In light of the quantity of drugs involved I’m asking the court to be extremely lenient and to reprimand and discharge him. He asked the officers who arrested him for a break which he did not get so I am asking the court to give him a break,” Husbands said.
Acknowledging that Hepburn was a first-time offender, the magistrate said while he would only impose a cost, a conviction would not be recorded against him.
He then ordered him to pay $300 forthwith with an alternative of one month in prison.
“I’m extending a golden handshake to you so don’t kick the gift horse in its mouth,” Frederick said, just before asking Hepburn if he could pay the fine.
It was eventually paid.