As a consequence of a “stupid mistake” made more than three years ago, Robert Brenley Jackson-Diaz was sentenced on Monday to eight-and-a-half months’ imprisonment, with three months to be served immediately and the balance suspended for two years.
Jackson-Diaz, now 33, pleaded guilty to supplying 18 grams of ganja at Northward Prison on Nov. 5, 2013.
Defense attorney John Furniss explained that Jackson-Diaz was working for a contractor and the job was a roof repair inside the prison. He was on the roof when a package fell very near to where he was. He picked it up and realized it was ganja.
Because he had previous convictions for possession and consumption of drugs, he made a “stupid mistake” and dropped the package, then kicked it off the roof out of his way instead of turning it over to a guard.
What he did was facilitate the drug going into the yard some other person was trying to throw it into, Mr. Furniss said.
The attorney argued that the court had to distinguish this case from someone throwing the drug over the fence.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats agreed that the circumstances were different.
A case summary provided by the Crown indicated that a prison officer was monitoring security cameras when she observed an inmate walking outside and he looked up to the kitchen roof. She saw a white object fall from the roof and the inmate picked it up. Other officers were alerted and the package was retrieved.
File records show that the matter first came to court in March 2014. Trial was set for December 2014 but was adjourned for legal arguments. In June 2015 Jackson-Diaz pleaded guilty to supplying the ganja and consuming cocaine. An application was made for him to join the Drug Rehabilitation Court, where he spent time until last month.
Both Mr. Furniss and Magistrate Foldats referred to a case dealt with by Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn, who used a starting point of three years for someone who threw drugs over the fence and into the prison compound.
Magistrate Foldats used one year as his starting point and said Jackson-Diaz could not get full credit for his guilty plea because it had come very late. He took off two months, arriving at 10 months, and then gave the defendant six weeks’ credit for time he had spent on curfew and in a halfway house.