Telling the court that he had found cocaine and kept it for his own use, Garvin Ricardith Brown Bush was sentenced to 12 years after being found guilty of possessing it with intent to supply.
Bush, 44, told the court he started to snort cocaine in 1981. He then used the drug in crack form ‘and that is the one that mash me up.’
In presenting her verdict on 20 December, Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale accepted that Bush found the cocaine as he said. She then listed the factors leading to the conclusion that Bush determined to use the drugs and also make a profit from them.
The quantities of drugs found in various locations around his North Side home totalled 10.705 grams of cocaine in crack form and 5.74 ounces of cocaine powder.
One gram can equal eight to 10 rocks. There are 28.35 grams to an ounce.
Police found rocks individually wrapped and portions of powder in separate plastic bags. The magistrate said it was an affront to common sense that he wrapped the rocks in gold foil if they were for his own use.
She also cited quantities of money in Bush’s possession when police went to his house on two occasions. Bush said the money was from rent, but it was in small bills and included US currency. The magistrate found this inconsistent with rent but entirely consistent with receipt in the course of dealing drugs.
She further considered the evidence of one of the police officers, who said Bush told him he sold cocaine to support his family because of the hardships he faced after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. The officer added that Bush said neither his mother nor his girlfriend knew he was dealing. The magistrate found this admissible because Bush had said it after being cautioned.
Bush faced two charges because police found cocaine on two occasions in May 2005. The magistrate concluded that the cocaine recovered on the second occasion was part of the same cache that Bush had on the first occasion, but which officers did not discover at that time.
She also accepted that Bush provided information that led to the recovery of more cocaine almost two months after his arrest.
She took this into account when passing sentence.
Bush had pleaded guilty to simple possession of the drug in January 2006, but he denied intent to supply.
Since his arrest at least four attorneys had appeared for him at various times, but each at some point asked to come off record. After some time in custody he did receive bail.
Bush told the court he got 17 weeks of rehabilitation at Caribbean Haven, then came out and got a job. After he was in an accident, however, he went back on drugs.
Bail had been revoked after his relapse led to new charges of simple possession and consumption of drugs.
Trial began on 31 October and took place over parts of several days. After the verdict, Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn, who conducted the prosecution, asked for forfeiture of the money found on Bush and destruction of the drugs. She said the Crown did not ask for a hearing regarding potential confiscation of assets.
Bush was advised of his right to appeal. Related charges against his girlfriend were left on file.