Drug court client gets seven years
Garrell Walter Smith, a client of
the Drug Rehabilitation Court, was sentenced last week to seven years’ imprisonment
for burglary and cocaine-related offences. He had admitted the burglary, which
occurred in 2006, and a 2002 charge of possessing cocaine with intent to supply
before he was accepted into the Drug Court programme.
During that court’s sitting on 20
July, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale told Smith his permission to be in
the court had been revoked. Now 36, he had continued to test positive for
consumption of cocaine, and he had a charge of possession of cocaine while in
The decision to revoke was made
after a private meeting of the magistrate, drug court treatment providers and
Crown Counsel Jenesha Simpson.
Facts on file indicated that
Smith’s brother died in July 2006 and his widow was in hospital. She had
secured the house before leaving it. Smith entered and stole clothing, DVDs,
small appliances and a laptop. The value of items, not including the laptop,
was over $2,400. Smith denied stealing all of the items, but admitted taking
some to pawn for crack cocaine or to sell in order to buy crack.
The magistrate indicated it was an
egregious breach of trust to steal from one’s own family, especially in the
circumstances at that time. For this offence he received two years.
The 2002 charge related to
information from police that Smith was dealing illicit drugs. Smith denied the
offence and it was put for trial. However, in October 2006 he pleaded guilty
and sentencing was postponed because informal recommendations had been made
since 2004 for him to receive treatment for his addiction.
The magistrate referred to his time
in court and his period of residential rehabilitation, saying he had received
everything the courts had to offer. “We have invested hundreds of thousands of
dollars in your treatment, hoping to establish you in your recovery. None of
these efforts have borne fruit. The opportunity will now go to someone else,”
The typical sentence for
street-level dealing cocaine is five years on a guilty plea, she noted,
imposing that term. Possession of 0.194 gram of cocaine in August 2009 drew
nine months, but that term was set to run concurrently. The other terms are consecutive.