A fine of $100,000 was imposed on a 50 year old resident of Grand Anse, St George after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in June 2014 at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
Terrence Kirton appeared before Magistrate Tamara Gill on Monday at the No.1 Magistrate’s Court in the company of his lawyer, Peter David who put forward a case for him not to be sent to prison.
Kirton was nabbed at the airport while attempting to leave the country with 1.7 kilos of Cocaine for England that carried a street value of $170,000.
The court was told that the drugs were found in a rectangular shape package which was stuck to the bottom of a suitcase wrapped in blue carbon paper.
Police Prosecutor Godfrey Victor informed the chief Magistrate that when arrested, Kirton was very cooperative and explained to law enforcement officers the reason for being in possession of the cocaine.
According to Victor, the suspect told arresting officers that “things were hard” and he was seeking to make some money as he was expected to get a large sum of money from the buyer of the illegal drugs.
Attorney David, asked the Chief Magistrate not to send his client to prison because he was very cooperative from the beginning with the police.
David said that Kirton, a husband and father of two, ages thirteen and sixteen tried his best to lead a lawful life but was struck by hard times.
The lawyer indicated that the accused owned two buses, a bar and is an interior decorator by profession, and has the ability to make money.
Even though the accused has been in trouble with the law before in 2001 for obscene language, David asked the Magistrate to treat him as having no prior convictions.
“Society is better served, if he (Kirton) is to pay a fine,” he said. “He is able to pay a (substantial) fine,” the lawyer added.
Chief Magistrate Gill decided to fine Kirton $100,000 but not without making it known to him that it was a very serious offence to use the airport to traffic drugs.
Kirton has been given 10 months to pay the fine and in default spend 4 years in prison.