A major shortcoming in the testing of suspected illegal drugs in the British Virgin Islands yesterday prompted a magistrate to re-offer bail to Nikhoy Phillip, who was locked up shortly before Christmas for allegedly breaching the terms of a previous bail offer.
He is facing two unrelated charges for alleged possession of marijuana.
A crucial drug analyst report to prove if the substance is actually marijuana is still outstanding, and there is no clear indication as to when the substance will even be tested.
In court previously, the prosecution explained that the drug analyst is based overseas, and is only brought into the territory when suspected illegal substances reach a certain amount over time.
In court yesterday, January 9, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo noted that the uncertainty regarding the testing of the substance influenced her decision to re-offer bail.
“Due to the uncertainty of when the analyst will be here, I am going to give him bail,” she said.
Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo offered the accused $20,000 bail, and ordered him to visit the Mental Health Department for drug treatment. He was also given a daily curfew between 10pm and 6am.
“If police meet you on the road one minute pass 10 o’clock, they picking you up,” Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo warned Phillip while noting that the accused man’s mother is a police officer.
“I don’t want to see you before this court for any new offences. Your mother is a police officer. You have no reason to be smoking weed.”
“You need to start taking responsibility for your actions… The more you appear [in court], the less sympathy the court will have for you,” the magistrate continued.
Phillip is scheduled to return to court on March 28.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo had revoked Phillip’s bail on December 2 after allegations surfaced that the accused committed a drug offence while on bail in relation to another drug case.
Police reportedly found Phillip with 14.2 grams of marijuana in May last year, and another 28 grams of the drug on November 30.
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