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Man charged with possession of cocaine

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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019. 8:53 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Thirty-one-year-old Justin Stewart believes he had a tenth of a gram of suspected cocaine in his possession on Thursday morning, April 18 when he was busted by police.

But if the cops can’t prove it, he may well go free. Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts-Anderson set aside his guilty plea when he appeared in court, determining that the facts of the case to prove the charge were not satisfactory at this time. The matter is adjourned to April 24 when the prosecutor has been directed to come prepared with the elements necessary to prove the charge. In the meantime Stuart is out on bail of $500.

Stuart was charged for possession of a Class A controlled drug (cocaine), as defined under the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 103 of the Laws of Belize. But Magistrate Pitts-Anderson noted before the facts were read out in court that the suspected drugs were not weighed by the arresting officer and he was now off duty and unavailable to correct the fact sheet.

Stuart nonetheless was willing to plead guilty for the “lee piece ah plastic I picked up off the ground” despite not knowing why he was charged.

The prosecution in cases like these must have all the elements to prove a charge when an accused pleads guilty. If these are not properly submitted before the court, they have 14 days to make the correction; if not the magistrate can withdraw the charge.w the charge.

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