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Norwegian chef charged with cocaine possession in Bequia

A Norwegian chef was, on Monday, brought before the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown, charged with cocaine possession.

Dan Martinsen, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge that on Friday, Nov. 30, at Port Elizabeth, Bequia, he had in his possession a controlled drug, to wit, 0.30 grammes of cocaine.

The court heard that on Friday, Corporal 403 John and Police Constable 761 Pompey of the Rapid Response Unit were on foot patrol duty about Port Elizabeth.

They were dressed in plain clothes.

While the officers were walking near the home of McArthur Leach, Pompey saw Martinsen standing outside Leach’s bedroom window while another man was standing in the yard.

The police officers kept the man under observation and Pompey saw Martinsen collect something through the window.

At this point, Pompey pointed his flashlight toward the defendant and turned it on.

The man who was standing in the yard shouted, “Police!”

At this point, Martinsen dropped an aluminium foil wrapping to the ground.

When the police retrieved the wrapping, it was found to contain a whitish substance resembling cocaine.

When cautioned, Martinsen replied, “That is not mine.

The man was arrested and charged.

Martinsen pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne.

In mitigation, Martinsen said he had had quite a few beers.

He said a man had approached him and asked him if he wanted to buy something but that he had no intention of doing so.

Martinsen told the court that he was really sorry for his action.

“I am really not that bad of a guy,” Martinsen said.

Browne told Martinsen that while St. Vincent and the Grenadines welcomes persons to visit and enjoy the country, visitors must also obey the laws of the country.

She noted that he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had no previous convictions in the jurisdiction.

The magistrate further noted that Martinsen had spent the weekend in custody and, therefore, sentenced him to time served in custody.

Comments (8)

  1. From “it’s not mine” to “Guilty.” I guess your time in custody brought with it some common sense, which was apparent in your guilty plea so as to not waste the court’s time. Hopefully it will be a lesson learned!

    Kudos to the two Officers for their excellent work!

  2. TIME IN POLICE CUSTODY – DANGEROUS PRECEDENT

    From professional knowledge, the time any person has spent in the custody of the Police while investigations were being conducted, has absolutely nothing to do with the Magistracy.

    This so for three reasons,

    (i) …the Constitution allows for 48 hours detention by the Police;

    (ii) …Sundays and public holidays are not Court days, and as such are not counted.’

    Thus, this defendant had spent less than 48 hours in Police detention/arrest;

    (iii) …Until his appearance on Monday, the defendant was never remanded at prison by any Magistrate on
    the particular charge.

    Mindbogglingly the prosecutor appeared not to have gently raised these with the Court.’
    This speaks to a very ‘…Dangerous Precedent.’

    It begs the questions

    ‘…Did the Magistrate goofed? Did the prosecutor cowed into silent agreement?

    Bridges are not crossed until they are met, but w ‘…What may happen to others who spent weekends with the Police, then appear before Magistrates on Monday and plead guilty to their charges?’

    Attorneys know what to do when Police held their clients for more than 48 hours,

    They could apply to the High Court for a ‘…Writ of Habeas.Corpus’ (order of the High Court commanding the Commissioner of Police to bring the person detained to show justification for breaching the Constitution).

    Magistrates have no jurisdiction for this course of action.

    • Doesn’t the magistrate have the jurisdiction to not have imposed a custodial sentence or even discharge the defendant on his own recognizance (based on the quantity of the drugs and sentencing guidelines), inter alia?

      This happens all the time and I see no need to harp on the fact that he stated that the defendant had spent time in custody, as his ruling (which is all that matters) is in line with sentencing guidelines for the charge.

      I see no precedent set but an attempt by you to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  3. Were there other factors taken into account that we are not aware of? This is disturbing. I hope its not because of his phenotype.

  4. What did the police officers do with the people in the house selling the drugs. Were they locals or visitors? Were they also arrested? Was the house searched for additional drugs? Too many questions that need to be answered. Will we ever know the rest of the story?

  5. I wonder what the cost is of a day in court for .3 gm of coke?. What happened to the other people at the house? LOL.

  6. It looks like the police knew where to stand, what window to watch, and the exact non-local customer to look out for. Why was he even taken in? Was it because the chef was unaware of the custom of offering something to help convince police that the tin foil contents were not his?

    And yet local crime such as theft, home robbery, and property damage against visitors continues to go unsolved. It’s only a matter of time until the well that SVG so callously taps will run dry.

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