18 months for 5 ‘coke’ rocks

Defendant says he was social supplier or courier

Dorian Lionel Christian was sentenced last week to 18 months imprisonment for possession of cocaine with intent to supply. The amount involved was five rocks, with a total weight of .6 gram. 

Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson said the offence occurred on 23 November last year when officers on patrol in the early evening saw Christian coming from a known drug area in West Bay. They requested a search under the Misuse of Drugs Law and, upon folding down Christians pants’ cuff, found a folded white paper.  

Inside the paper were five paper wrappings, each one containing a substance that subsequently was tested and found to be cocaine. 

Christian, 54, told the officers he had been sent to the location by a relative to make the purchase and he was transporting the cocaine back. “As such, he asserts he was a social supplier or courier,” Ms Hutchinson told the court. 

She said sentences for possession with intent to supply seemed to be in the range of 18 months for this quantity. 

Defence Attorney Fiona Robertson said Christian was a long-standing cocaine addict. The supply was to a cousin; it was not for financial gain and he didn’t even expect any of the drug in exchange. She pointed out that the person to whom the drug would have been supplied was not someone who was young or vulnerable.  

Ms Robertson referred to a social inquiry report, in which Christian recognised that his cocaine use had lost him his family and was now going to cause the loss of his liberty. 

She said that Christian’s employer had described him an extremely good worker and would continue to employ him. The employer hoped Christian would get the help he needed.  

In passing sentence, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall noted the basis of plea. She said Christian’s record did show a long history of involvement with drugs, but this was his first offence for intent to supply. Given his cooperation, the fact no profit was involved, and the amount being at the low end of the scale, she imposed a term of 18 months imprisonment. 

Christian had applied to the Drug Rehabilitation Court but was not accepted because he had a pending charge of assault causing actual bodily harm. The drug court does not accept persons committing offences of violence. After his Summary Court appearance, he attended Grand Court where he received an additional 30 days for the assault. 

Cayman Islands Courthouse - palm tree

The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town. – File photo