Mercy shown to repeat drug offender
A repeat drug offender caught with cannabis and cocaine near to a children’s nursery avoided prison yesterday, after asking a magistrate for “mercy”.
Tamiko Wainwright, 41, of King Street, Pembroke, was instead fined $4,350 after pleading guilty in Magistrates’ Court to possessing drugs and digital scales within 100 metres of Happy Valley Day Care Centre.
Wainwright, who has a string of drug convictions dating back to 1998, was spotted by police at the junction of Happy Valley Road and Curving Avenue around lunchtime on October 10.
An earlier court hearing was told he was sitting on a parked motorcycle, appeared nervous when approached, and smelled of marijuana.
Wainwright was arrested after handing police a paper twist containing rocklike and plantlike substances. A search revealed about $1,000 in cash and digital scales inside his bike.
Tests on the seized material showed the package contained 0.7g of cannabis and 0.86g of cocaine. Later analysis found the scales showed traces of heroin.
Crown counsel Maria Sofianos told the earlier hearing that his past convictions would “invite a custodial sentence” in this case.
Wainwright challenged his criminal record but was yesterday given a copy of the certified records and accepted they were his.
Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said the fact the offences took place in an increased penalty zone, near the nursery, was an aggravating factor.
Wainwright said that was a coincidence and the drugs were solely for his use.
He apologised for his actions and said he was now holding down a job, as well as helping his grandmother, who is in poor health.
“I’m asking for leniency, please. Mercy, by way of fines or a suspended sentence.”
Mr Tokunbo told him: “To your credit, you entered guilty pleas up front. The amounts were small.”
He fined the defendant $1,300 for possession of cannabis in an increased penalty zone, $1,750 for possession of cocaine in such a zone and $1,300 for possession of the scales.
Wainwright was told he has until December 29 to pay the fine or face six months in prison.
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