Drug dealer loses appeal

The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town. - Photo: Chris Court

The Court of Appeal has upheld a drug conviction and prison sentence against Lynden Dwayne Walton.

Walton was arrested in August 2019 after police searched his car and found crack cocaine and $1,330 in cash.

He was convicted in Nov. 2019, following a Summary Court trial for possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal property. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on both charges, to run concurrently.

In April 2020, Walton appealed the conviction before the Grand Court, which was dismissed after Justice Marlene Carter said she “could find no fault with the Magistrate’s decision”. A year later, he then appealed his conviction and sentence before the Court of Appeal.

When appealing the conviction and sentence, Walton’s attorney Keith Myers argued that the conviction was unsafe because when arriving at her verdict the Summary Court magistrate did not have the benefit of a full set of notes of the evidence presented during the trial.

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In its written judgment, the Court of Appeal quoted Myers as saying, “… [W]ithout the said trial notes all that was happening was one Judge was confirming what was said by another Judge in the Summary Court Ruling”.

The appeal judges dismissed the application saying “the decision of Justice Carter was unimpeachable” while noting that the appeal was not on a point of law.

“In essence, the appellant’s argument comes down to a contention that an examination of a full record of the evidence would or might indicate that the magistrate should have accepted the appellant’s version of events,” wrote the Court of Appeal in the judgment.

The judgment goes on to say, “… [I]t is in any event no part of the function of an appellate court to form its own view of facts properly determined by the original tribunal.”

After dismissing the appeal against conviction, the judges then turned their attention to the appeal against sentence, which was also swiftly dismissed.

“… Mr Myers accepted that he could not succeed in relation to sentence if he failed in relation to conviction; and the application was accordingly refused,” wrote the judges.

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