Deaf British man sentenced for ganja

February 20, 2016

A British national who pleaded guilty to drug charges in the Corporate Area Magistrate Court on Wednesday credited his hearing disability and unemployment as the reasons he committed the crimes he was charged for.

Robert Giscombe pleaded guilty to possession of ganja, dealing in ganja, and taking steps preparatory to export ganja.

According to the police, in January, the British man's suitcase was searched when he was at the Norman Manley International Airport about to board a flight to London, England, and 16 parcels of what appeared to be ganja were found. Giscombe was arrested and charged by the police.

After the client's plea, the accused's lawyer beseeched Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey to consider a light sentence because of the accused hearing issues.

According to the lawyer, Giscombe was mobbed two years ago which resulted in him only being able to hear from his right ear.

The accused has reportedly been unemployed since losing his hearing and has been unable to acquire welfare in England. As a result, the lawyer said he sought advice about earning an income and was told he could make money transporting an item.

Giscombe's lawyer told the court that the accused was unaware of what he would be transporting at the time, but fully accepts responsibility for his actions. The accused asked for leniency in his sentencing.

But RM Pusey was not moved by the lawyer's pleas and said that persons who are ill are often preyed on by drug dealers.

"Persons like the accused are usually chosen to carry drugs in the hope that if they are caught, they will able to malign the law because of his illness, but he must face the music," she said.

Giscombe was fined $396,000 or six months imprisonment for taking steps preparatory to export ganja, $198,000 or six months imprisonment for dealing in ganja and $99,000 or six months in prison for possession of ganja.

He was also sentenced to two years imprisonment which will run concurrently.

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