From Left: Lorne Parsons and Tiffern Henley
Photo Credit: File
Tiffern Henley, an inmate at the Her Majesty´s Prison (HMP) has argued that the continued delay in the drug case against him is hindering his early release from the Balsum Ghut facility.
Henley and another inmate, Lorne Parsons were charged for the unlawful possession of 48.4 grams of cannabis which was found in their prison cell in November of last year. However, nine months later Prosecution is still trying to get statements from prison officers.
At yesterday´s hearing, September 11, following an application by Parsons lawyer, Herbert McKenzie the Crown dropped the charges against Parsons.
Senior Magistrate Valerie Stephens ordered that crown must be ready.
In relation to Parsons, McKenzie had argued that along with the lengthy delays, there are no evidence to support that his client was in possession of the drugs, since though he occupied the cell at the time he was not in the cell.
Hence, it will be a tall order to prove possession.
Crown Counsel Janice Stoutt stated that the crown will be offering no evidence against Parsons.
Senior Magistrate Stephens expressed concerns over the delays in the case. She said though the men are incarcerated their liberty cannot be trampled upon.
Henley, who is representing himself made an application for the court to dismiss the case against him. He argued that he is eligible for early release; however, the Governor has denied him an early release in November due to the pending case.
He said under the Constitution Order of 2007, he is entitled to a fair trial in a reasonable time. According to Henley, the evidence against him is circumstantial since they have fail to provide any CCTV footage or fingerprint linking him to the drugs.
The accused also stated that he requested the footage of the area on the day in question, but he is being discriminated against because he is an inmate and no such information has been provided.
He also accused officers of doing a poor job in terms of investigating the matter.
However, Prosecutor Stoutt stated that Superintendent of Prison Richard Holder in June indicated that there was no CCTV footage at the prison for the search on that day.
The trial begins on Friday September 14.
Parsons is currently serving time in connection with the 2004 murder of Trisan Todman Industrious while Henley is serving a sentence for possession of forged currency notes and rape.
The crown alleges that on November 9 around 3:30 pm, Prison Officers were conducting a random search on the cells in the C wing. Henley and Parsons shared cell #207 at the time.
During the search, Prison Officer McKlain Fahie positioned himself at the back of the cell while another officer was in front.
It is alleged that while Fahie was standing at the back of the cell, he saw a bag thrown from the cell through the window and it landed on the ground. It was a white ziplock bag which contained what appeared to be cannabis. Also in the bag was a nokia cellular phone and a charger.
The officer then proceeded to the front of the cell and informed the other prison officer of what had transpired. It is alleged that at the time, the only inmate that was inside the cell was Henley.
The Superintendent of Prisons was informed of the officers' findings and he contacted the East End Police Station.
The estimated street value of the 48.4 grams of cannabis is $484.00.