After being given credit for his guilty plea and cooperation, a man on work permit was sentenced last week to four and a half years for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
Darvan Owen Fable, 22, appeared in Summary Court charged in connection with two separate amounts of crack cocaine totalling over four grams.
Crown Counsel Gail Johnson said Drugs Task Force officers saw Fable talking to a woman outside a house off Eastern Avenue around 5.40pm on 23 June.
As they approached they saw him drop a piece of cream-coloured substance. They recovered it and told him what they thought it was.
Fable confirmed it was cocaine. He said someone had called him and made an order and he was delivering it. He intended to sell it for $175.
Taken to his residence, Fable showed officers 11 small pieces of cocaine wrapped in plastic inside a sock hidden inside a shoe.
When formally interviewed, he had no comment.
Defence Attorney Nicholas Dixey submitted that Fable deserved more than the usual credit for his guilty plea, given the circumstances of his arrest.
He pointed out that police never questioned the young woman with whom Fable had been talking. If not for the defendant’s honesty, it would never have been clear whether Fable was the seller of the cocaine or the buyer. He could have been guilty of possession, but not guilty of possession with intent.
The attorney also noted that after Fable was arrested, he was placed in the police car and questioned – no interview room, no attorney present. Had he wished to take a different course, Fable could have vacated his guilty plea because of the grave problems with the evidence.
Instead, Mr. Dixey related, when he discussed the situation with his client, Fable told him, ‘I’m pleading guilty because I am guilty.’
The defendant is a skilled worker who came here from Clarendon, Jamaica, where he has two children, Mr. Dixey said. Shortly after his arrival, Fable fell into the company of other young men and was embarrassed because he was unable to buy drinks and pay for entertainment.
Someone he knew who was leaving the island offered to sell him the drugs. Fable engaged in one low-level street sale.
Mr. Dixey urged to court to consider the small amounts involved, the cooperation, the hardship to Fable’s children and the fact that he will be in custody in an alien environment.
Magistrate Nova Hall said that, under sentencing guidelines for offences involving crack cocaine, this amount without mitigating circumstances would be met with a term of 10 to 12 years.
But, she concurred, it was to Fable’s credit that he had pleaded guilty the first time he came to court. She gave him maximum credit for that plus further credit for his cooperation.
The magistrate also said she was recommending Fable for deportation after his sentence is served.