Suspected phone thief nabbed with ganja

Emmanuel Lawrie, held by police after allegedly robbing a man of his mobile phone, was yesterday fined for possession of the cannabis found on him during a search.

Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry fined Lawrie, 24, $3,000 and ordered him to complete six months of community service after he pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge over the one gramme of cannabis found in his possession.

But he was remanded to prison after pleading not guilty to a robbery with violence charge.

It is alleged that on October 18, at Brickdam and Water Street, Lawrie stole a BlackBerry smartphone, valued $40,000, from Mahendra Sahadeo and also used personal violence at some time before, during or after he committed the crime.

Prosecutor Bharrat Mangru told the court that Sahadeo, who was on his phone, was walking along Brickdam when he felt a cuff to his face.

Mangru said that it was at this point that Lawrie, who delivered the blow, snatched the phone and ran away. Mangru added that Sahadeo then chased behind Lawrie and raised an alarm and two police officers in the vicinity responded and apprehended the man.

Mangru added that during the ensuing search police conducted on Lawrie, the cell phone was recovered and leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be cannabis were also found in Lawrie’s possession.

When asked by the chief magistrate whether he ever had any troubles with the law, Lawrie, a miner, said he had no pending matters and had never been convicted by the police.

The magistrate subsequently imposed the sentence for the drug possession and remanded him to prison on the robbery charge. The matter was adjourned until November 8.


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