BVI News

‘You keep coming back!’ Freeman fined $7K

Jazz Freeman

Months after he was put on a two-year bond to keep the peace, Jazz Freeman yesterday appeared before the Magistrate’s Court for sentencing in relation to fresh marijuana offences.

Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards slapped the 24-year-old with a $5,000 fine after he pleaded guilty two marijuana possession charges.

The senior magistrate also activated the $2,000 fine that Freeman was told in January he would have to pay if he did not keep the peace for the time period specified. That sum must now be paid forthwith or he will spend four months at Her Majesty’s Prison.

In relation to the sentence that required Freeman to keep the peace for two years, the offender was convicted for possession of marijuana.

At the time, Senior Magistrate Richards told him that he would pay the $2000 if he was convicted of another crime within that two-year period.

Freeman violated the conditions of the bond when police this week found 5.3 grams of marijuana in his possession in the streets, and another 2.1 grams at his residence in Fahie Hill.

Not the user who begs a dollar

During his court appearance yesterday, the young offender made no excuse.

“You done give me a chance in January and I apologise for breaking that promise with dealing with marijuana. I hope you give me a second chance with a fine instead of sending me to jail,” Freeman told Senior Magistrate Richards moments before he was sentenced.

In noting the offender’s appeal, the senior magistrate stated that it would be pointless to send Freeman for more drug counselling.

“I don’t believe you are the user that does not function. You have a job. You are not the user that’s outside supermarkets begging for a dollar,” said Senior Magistrate Richards.

While noting that previous convictions aggravate offences, she also told Freeman: “The financial penalty has to get more because you keep coming back.”

Breakdown of sentences

In the meantime, a breakdown of the sentences shows Freeman being fined $3,000 for the charge linked to possession of 5.3-gram of marijuana. He will serve six months in prison if that sum is not paid.

Freeman was also fined an additional $2,000 for the 2.1 grams of marijuana found at his residence. He will serve four months behind bars if he does not pay that fine.

Freeman, in the meantime, is also before the court on gun and ammunition charges.

He was slapped with those charges this week along with another man, Allison Vanterpool.

Freeman has pleaded not guilty to the gun-related charges, while Vanterpool said the illegal weapon belonged to him. Both men will return to court in September.


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