Man admits ganja charge, seeks to clear co-defendants

Two men held in custody on charges of possessing ganja with intent to supply appeared in Summary Court on Monday, when their attorney handed up a confession signed by one of them at Northward Prison.

Attorney John Furniss, who was appointed duty counsel for the men, gave the letter, which had been witnessed by a justice of the peace, to Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn after reading it aloud in court. Mr. Furniss spoke first on behalf of Toney Edward General, 56, and then made a bail application for Allan Garfield Ebanks, 38.

The men first appeared in court on Monday, March 27, when the magistrate remanded them in custody. They had been arrested on Friday, March 24, in the School Road area of George Town.

In the letter read by Mr. Furniss, General admits possession of all the drugs found in his yard and in a yard across the road.

He said Ebanks, and another person referred to by first name only, had no knowledge of the drugs, “as they were mine and mine alone.”

On that basis, the magistrate put the charge to General and he pleaded guilty. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a utensil used in the consumption of a controlled drug.

Sentencing was set for May 22 so that a social inquiry report could be obtained.

The magistrate then heard the bail application. She pointed out that she had heard the Crown’s summary of the allegations last week.

Officers had gone to the area and, at one address, found 40 packets of ganja wrapped in cupcake papers, a glass jar of vegetable matter and a wrap of what appeared to be crack cocaine, among other items.

At a premises across the road, they found a black plastic garbage bag with eight glass jars of ganja.

Mr. Furniss noted that fingerprint evidence was still outstanding. Given General’s letter and no forensic evidence to link Ebanks to the ganja, he urged the court to grant bail.

The magistrate agreed. She referred to a summary of a police officer’s observations, which included the officer’s opinion that Ebanks was involved in a transaction, though no money or drugs were found on him, there was no mention of him going to either premises, and there was no indication of another person involved in the alleged transaction.

The magistrate granted bail with conditions that included residence at a specified address, a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, the wearing of an electronic monitor, prohibition from the School Road area and non-contact with co-defendants.

Ebanks was directed to return to court on Monday, April 10.

The third man mentioned in General’s confession is charged with being concerned in the possession of ganja and has been on bail throughout. He is to return to court on April 10.

Crown counsel Neil Kumar said his office would have to consider General’s letter.

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