A Kingston labourer, who claimed he made a “difficult choice” when he attempted to smuggle 42 ganja pellets out of the country, was spared the wrath of the law when he was handed a 30-day mandatory sentence for the offence in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday.

In addition, David Clarke was fined a total of $13,000 which, if not paid, will see him serving three months in prison.

The 47-year-old father of seven was sentenced by Parish Judge Andrea Collins after he pleaded guilty to possession of ganja and taking steps to export ganja. He was fined $4,500 or 30 days and $8,500 or 60 days, respectively.

The charge of dealing in ganja was withdrawn while no evidence was offered on the conspiracy charge.

Clarke, who was destined for Barbados, was held at the Norman Manley International Airport in October after he confessed to ingesting the ganja pellets.

He was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where he expelled 42 pellets, weighing one pound one ounce. When he was cautioned he told the police, “Mi know mi guilty.”

Thursday, he explained to the court why he committed the offence.

“Sometimes in life you have to make a difficult choice,” he remarked.

Clarke further told the court that four of his seven children are under age 18 and that he was trying to “make a way out” for them.

— Tanesha Mundle

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