T&T 12-year-old charged with ganja trafficking
(Trinidad Express) A 12-year-old, who was found with marijuana in his bag at his primary school, appeared before a magistrate yesterday charged with possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking.
The boy, whose father stood at his side, pleaded guilty to the offence. The court was cleared for the matter. Defence attorney Dane Halls represented the child.
Magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran heard from the prosecutor that it was around 12.20 p.m. on Wednesday that the standard five pupil’s bag was searched by a cleaner at the school after suspicions were raised by a teacher. Marijuana weighing 0.3 grammes was found. The child was charged by Constable Richard Guerra with having the drug for the purpose of trafficking as it was discovered on him within 500 metres of a school. The boy initially told officers he found the illegal substance at the school’s entrance. He later said a pupil had given it to him while he was at school.
In speaking on the child’s behalf before the court, Halls said given the boy’s age he was “unable to navigate from clear and present danger”. He said the child lives with his paternal grandmother as his parents were separated, and wants to become a mechanical engineer. Halls said the boy had his future ahead of him and asked the court to reprimand and discharge his client. Ramsaran said the boy ought to be allowed to focus on his upcoming Secondary Assessment Examination (SEA). He reprimanded and discharged him under section 71:1A. No record will be made by the court of the child’s court appearance.