Mother sent back to prison eight months after release

April 12, 2017

A mother of nine, who was recently released from prison after serving time for attempting to smuggle ganja, broke down in tears after she was hit with a one-year prison sentence for a similar offence last Friday.

Ann Marie Lawrence, 39, of Time and Patience, St Catherine, whose children's ages range from 3 years old to 22 years old, was caught at the Norman Manley International Airport on March 28 while attempting to board a Caribbean Airlines flight to Barbados.

The court heard that an officer from the narcotics division was conducting routine checks when Lawrence was interviewed and asked her purpose of travel. She reportedly told the officer, "To visit my sick mom who has a stroke and is in hospital."


Based on her response to a number of other questions, Lawrence was subsequently taken into the narcotics room for further questioning. A search of her person revealed nothing illegal. When the officers asked if she had ever been arrested for drugs, she said no.

However, the officers later received information that she had been convicted of narcotics in February 2015 and served an 18-month prison sentence.

While under caution, she reportedly told the police, "A just me son me wah help go college. You can do something fi me make the judge give me a road sentence? A August me come out (of prison)."

Lawrence was then taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where she expelled 83 pellets, which amounted to three pounds of ganja.

Upon hearing the statements at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, judge Andrea Collins remarked: "Clearly, you don't mind going to prison."

The judge then ordered that Lawrence pay $12,000 or serve four months in prison for possession of ganja, $24,000 or six months for taking steps to export ganja, and 12 months' imprisonment to be served concurrently.

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