A man previously given a chance with two suspended sentences literally threw that chance away when he threw ganja over the fence at Her Majesty’s Prison in Northward.
Sean Luke Dunbar, 24, had pleaded guilty in September to possession of 3.9 pounds of ganja with intent to supply at the prison on Feb. 16 this year.
On Tuesday, Magistrate Valdis Foldats reflected on the seriousness of Dunbar’s offense. He took into account a previously suspended sentence for an earlier offense of the same kind before sentencing him to 40 months’ imprisonment. Dunbar was then remanded to the Grand Court, where he will be dealt with for breaching a suspended sentence handed down there for a firearm offense.
The suspended sentences were lenient on the face of it, the magistrate agreed, but they were imposed because Dunbar had cooperated with authorities and had given evidence for the Crown in a firearm trial.
For his own role in handling the firearm, Dunbar received a sentence of 18 months, suspended for two years. That was in December 2016. It had been hoped that suspended sentences would help Dunbar turn the corner and adopt a crime-free lifestyle, the magistrate explained.
It was therefore “shocking and disheartening” that this new offense was committed less than five weeks after the Summary Court gave him his second suspended sentence, the magistrate commented.
The facts of the new offense were simple but grave, he continued. In the late afternoon of Feb. 16, Dunbar ran up to the prison fence and threw packages over it. He was apprehended almost immediately. The drugs were recovered.
His role was limited to delivery man, the magistrate said. Other people sourced the drug and made arrangements with a prisoner to receive the drugs at a specific time and at a specific place.
Dunbar became involved, he said, because he intended to use the money he would get in order to get medicine for his child.
The magistrate pointed out that other people in financial difficulties were not driven to crime. Further, Dunbar had legal options to pay for the medicine.
The magistrate said it was distressing to repeat what had been said in other cases involving drugs being carried to prison, where they are of much greater value than on the street. Drugs in prison are like currency, used to bully and extort. They can result in injuries to both inmates and staff and they undermine the rule of law, he said.
The magistrate imposed a sentence of 40 months, describing it as severe, “but rightly so.” The sentence included an activation of the suspended sentence for the previous possession of ganja, which was eight months.
Dunbar was expected to appear in Grand Court on Friday, Nov. 17, before Justice Charles Quin, who had imposed the suspended sentence for the firearm.