Food vendor remanded on cocaine charge

A 42-year-old food vendor who pleaded not guilty to having in her possession three grammes of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking was yesterday remanded to prison after she appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

The allegation is that on September 17, at Hadfield Street, Georgetown, Opaul Walter of Lot 63 Cross Street, Werk–en-Rust had in her possession three grammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking while she was operating a food stall.

In presenting the facts of the case, Police Prosecutor Lionel Harvey told the court that on the day in question at around 12:00 hrs, ranks from the Narcotics Branch went to the Hadfield Street area where they observed the accused acting in a suspicious manner.

Harvey further stated that the ranks approached the stand where the woman was selling but she dropped a parcel while she was trying to escape. The ranks, he said, opened the parcel in the presence of the woman and she was told of the offence and was subsequently charged.

The attorneys who represented the mother of three children made an application for bail on the grounds that the accused has no antecedents and no previous convictions.

Attorney Nigel Hughes, who spoke on behalf of the accused, told the court that he has known the woman for a very long time and she is seen by many as an individual of unblemished record.  Another attorney whose office is situated next to the premises where the woman sells also vouched for the woman’s innocence saying: “The woman never dropped anything. I witnessed the incident and I never see the woman drop anything.”

The prosecution asked, however, that the defendant be remanded to prison since no special circumstances were cited.

The magistrate took into consideration the grounds presented by the prosecution and the accused was remanded to prison until the matter is called again on October 24.

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