Drug charges dropped against local attorney

After eight years, attorney Patrick Gregory Schmid has been cleared of all drug-related charges.

Mr. Schmid appeared before Acting Magistrate Grace Donalds on Wednesday in Summary Court on three remaining charges: possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine and importation of methamphetamine. Last month, a Grand Court jury, under the direction of the Justice Alexander Henderson, cleared Mr. Schmid of an importation of cocaine charge. Magistrate Donalds told the Summary Court on Wednesday: “These matters are now dismissed.”

The charges had stemmed from Mr. Schmid being found with an empty plastic bag containing traces of the drugs at Owen Roberts International Airport eight years ago.

Mr. Schmid, who was represented by defense attorney Guy Dilliway-Parry, was charged with carrying 0.0085 grams of cocaine in his carry-on luggage and 0.134 gram of methamphetamine at the airport in 2006.

Speaking in the Grand Court trial last month, Justice Alexander Henderson told the jury, “The trial has come to a premature end.”

“The amount of cocaine in issue of 0.0085 grams is so small as to the amount of a mere trace. This brings us to a strange and archaic ritual,” Justice Henderson said. “I direct you as a matter of law that the verdict must be not guilty.”

The jury of four women and three men delivered their verdict as instructed.

Mr. Dilliway-Parry said all drug charges were now over for his client, adding that the jury’s verdict last month had eliminated the possibly of possession of cocaine because he was not guilty on importation charges.

Mr. Schmid was initially convicted of the charges in Summary Court in 2007, but his appeal to Grand Court was successful: the convictions were quashed and a retrial was ordered. That trial had been set for November 2011, but Mr. Schmid failed to appear. He voluntarily returned to the jurisdiction in February this year.

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