St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); A man convicted for drug possession went before the Court of Appeals on Friday (Mar 17) and managed to talk himself into even more time in jail.
Steadroy Walwyn, brother of former Police Commissioner CG Walwyn represented himself when he appealed his February 2016 drug conviction in the magistrate court for Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Supply and Importation of Cocaine.
He was jointly charged with Elaine Cooper and Levi Archibald after police raided his house on Walwyn Avenue in November 2015 and discovered more than a kilo of cocaine concealed in a compartment of a suitcase. Cooper had returned to the federation that night with the suitcase, and was picked up from the airport by Walwyn, and taken to his home.
Walwyn was fined $400,000 forthwith or in default serve four years in prison, and Cooper was fined $100,000 forthwith or serve four years in prison.
On Friday Walwyn argued that the magistrate did not have enough evidence to convict him and challenged the validity of the arrest warrant. He also argued that the fine was too high.
When asked if she had a lawyer, Cooper said Walwyn would speak on her behalf.
During the hearing Walwyn started shouting at Chief Justice Dame Janice Pereira, and had to be warned about being disrespectful to the Justices of Appeal.
The Chief Justice told him that she would not be intimidated by his conduct.
At the end of a lengthy session, the three Justices of Appeal retired to deliberate, returning about an hour later to announce that the Court found that the magistrate did have enough to convict both appellants. The appeals against conviction were therefore dismissed.
With respect to the appeal against sentence Walwyn and Cooper admitted they were not working at the time and could not pay the fines.
The Justices substituted their fines for jail sentences and instead of serving four years in prison, the sentence was increased to five years for both appellants, with time served taken into consideration.
In another matter before the Court of Appeal, Dwight “Mac 11” Jacobs saw his sentence for drug possession altered. He had pleaded guilty to the offence in 2014 and was sentenced to a fine of $20,000 or in default serve two years in prison. His attorney, Marissa Hobson-Newman argued that Jacobs should have been given more time to pay the fine, based on his financial means.
The Justices reduced the default portion of the sentence to 9 months in prison. Jacobs was returned to Her Majesty’s Prison, where he is currently on remand for an October 2016 murder.