KINGSTON JAMAICA: An English national was sentenced in the Half Way Tree Criminal Court to
five years in prison, after pleading guilty to attempting to export 100 pounds of marijuana to England.
The Briton, Cornell Bashford, 48, of 103B Vassell Road, London was sentenced to two years
imprisonment for the charges of possession of marijuana and two years for dealing in marijuana. Both sentences will run concurrently,
leaving Bashford to serve only two years for both charges.
But he will also serve an additional three years' imprisonment
for the charge of taking steps to export marijuana - and will spend a total of five years in prison.
The court was told that on February 24, at approximately 6:15 pm, Bashford was in the process
of checking in on a British Airways flight to London at Norman Manley International Airport, when he was stopped, interviewed
and his luggage searched.
Police said that after searching Bashford's two black suitcases, 19 circular parcels were
found in one 20 in the other, wrapped in aluminium foil, blue carbon paper and brown masking tape. Each parcel was found to
contain a quantity of ganja totalling 100 pounds. Bashford was subsequently arrested and charged.
When asked why he chose to get involved in drugs, Bashford told presiding magistrate Martin
Gayle that he was having financial problems.
"I'm just asking my lord for some leniency. I was just trying to clear some debt back in
England and sort my life out," Bashford said.
After initially imposing a series of substantive fines on Bashford for the offences, Gayle
opted to impose prison terms for each charge.