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‘Tranquil’ student charged with marijuana possession
A Form Three student of the Tranquillity Secondary School appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate yesterday charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The 15-year-old, of Edward Street, Diego Martin, was arrested around 10.30 am on Thursday, at school.
Appearing before Magistrate Anna Ryan in the Fourth Court yesterday, the teenager pleaded not guilty. Appealing for reasonable bail, attorney Fareed Ali said the boy’s mother was a single parent with responsibility for three other children, and did not own any property which could help secure the student’s bail.
Although the prosecutor did not object to bail, the magistrate said the charge was a serious one, as the marijuana had been found at the school and was a risk to students. Ryan also expressed concern as the school the teenager attends was not known to be a place for that kind of activity.
Expressing outrage over the way his client was treated after being arrested, Ali, who was appointed to represent the student through the Legal Aid Authority, told the magistrate the teenager’s rights and privileges had been infringed.
Ali told the court that soon after the boy’s arrest, he arrived at the Woodbrook Police Station to find the teenager had been questioned by the police in the absence of a parent or counsel, and that on the basis of what he had said, police were charging the boy with marijuana possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Noting Ali’s concerns on the record, Ryan said she was extremely disappointed that this had occurred. The teenager was granted $50,000 bail with a surety, to be approved by a clerk of the peace III, and will reappear on November 2.
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