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Disabled Jamaican national pleads guilty to importing drugs

Published:Wednesday | September 10, 2014 | 9:00 AM

PORT-OF-SPAIN (CMC): A Jamaican national, who spent close to three years in jail awaiting trial for importing marijuana in a wheelchair, was released from prison after pleading guilty to the offence.

Defence attorney Delicia Helwig had urged Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno not to impose a custodial sentence on her client, Kevon Francis, 33, who was arrested at the Piarco International Airport with seven kilogrammes of marijuana hidden in the wheelchair.

But Francis was fined TT$20,000 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) on two additional charges under the Customs Act, for importing an illegal substance and failing to declare the drugs on his customs declaration form. He was also placed on a bond to keep the peace for two years.

In her mitigation plea, the defence attorney said Francis, who is paralysed from the neck down following a traffic accident six years ago, had the intention of pleading guilty to the offence when he first appeared in court in December 2011, but was unable to do so as the matter was required to be heard before a High Court judge and jury.