There was pandemonium yesterday afternoon in Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman’s courtroom, created by relatives of a poultry farmer who she had just sentenced to three years imprisonment for having 8.4 grams of marijuana in his possession.
Twenty-seven-year-old Carl Mongal, of Lot 2 Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown, admitted to the charge which alleged that on May 18 at Princes Street, he had the aforementioned quantity of the illicit substance in his possession
Facts presented by Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore stated that on the day in question about 20:30hrs, acting on information, police went to the address mentioned in the charge where they made contact with the defendant.
A search was then carried out on Mongal and two Ziploc bags with a quantity of leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be narcotics were unearthed.
Mongal was then cautioned and told of the allegation to which he admitted. He was then arrested and taken into custody.
Magistrate Latchman after listening to the Prosecutor sentenced the accused to three years imprisonment.
The sentence did not go too well with the spouse of the accused and his mother, who started to behave in a disorderly manner in the courtroom.
The mother of the accused who was crying inconsolably stated “Your honour I’m pleading with you, don’t let my son go to jail. That’s my only son, is my sister called the police to lock him up because the two of them had a disagreement.”
The spouse of the accused who was sitting outside of the courtroom upon hearing the sentence barged into the courtroom with a baby in her hand before collapsing to the ground with the baby.
The woman and her mother-in-law then began to rock the gate of the prisoner’s dock while crying loudly.
They were then escorted out of the court compound by a female police officer.
A few minutes after the Magistrate requested that they return to the courtroom.
While in the courtroom the Magistrate told them to be calm before explaining to them that the Laws of Guyana stipulate that any person found in possession of over five grams is liable to face a fine, together with the minimum of three years or the maximum five years imprisonment.
She added “I gave him the least sentence which is three years. He could have been sentenced to between three and five years. If you feel bad about this, the most you can do at this point of time is appeal the sentence, that’s the option that is open to you. I can’t do anything.”
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