Charlestown couple get five years in jail, $1.8M fines for ganja

Hubert Nathaniel Bartholomew and Rushelle Gittens, who were charged last year with having over a kilo and a half of marijuana for trafficking at their Charlestown home, were sentenced to five years in jail yesterday.

The charge against Bartholomew and Gittens stated that on August 22,  at Howes Street, Charlestown, they were found with 1.550 kilogrammes of cannabis in their possession for trafficking.

When presenting her decision yesterday, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan stated that she had found both defendants guilty of the offence of trafficking based on the evidence led by the prosecution’s witnesses.

Hubert Bartholomew
Hubert Bartholomew
Rochelle Gittens
Rochelle Gittens

It was highlighted that the court disbelieved the evidence led by the defendants and their witness.

Chief Magistrate McLennan noted that she believed that the defendants had knowledge, control and possession of the drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Subsequent to the guilty verdict, both Bartholomew and Gittens were sentenced to five years in jail and fined $1,860,000 each.

As they made their way to the court lock-ups, Gittens appeared to be expressionless, while Bartholomew was visibly upset that his wife had been sentenced alongside him.

He could be heard saying “what about our children?” and questioning why nothing was done to the policemen that they claimed stole money, gold and other items from them.

The defendants had claimed that on the morning of August 22, persons in plain clothes removed the door of their house and that they were forced to leave the premises and sit in a minibus, while a search was conducted. It was alleged that during the course of the search, cellphones, cash and gold were allegedly removed from the property.

It was the police’s case, however, that a search was conducted at the couple’s house, where they were found attempting to flush the drugs down the toilet. Police further stated that the search was conducted in both defendants’ presence.

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