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Grave digger on ganja charge fined $7,500 but says: Rotting corpses made me to ‘smoke’

Friday, June 6, 2014
Grave digger Ravi Nagoo who claims he uses marijuana to help him deal with the trauma of his job leaves the San Fernando Magistrates Court yesterday after he was fined $7,500. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Gravedigger Ravi Nagoo’s excuse for smoking marijuana was that it helped him to deal with the trauma of unearthing decomposing corpses while on his job. That did not spare him a $7,500 fine yesterday. Outside the San Fernando Magistrate Court Nagoo, 33, who was allowed eight weeks to pay the fine, said he was yet to come across a “virgin hole” since he has been digging graves.


The Embacadere man, who is married with two children, lamented in an interview with reporters his was a difficult job as he would sometimes see skeletal remains, fresh corpses and bodies in different stages of decomposition. Nagoo, who works for the San Fernando City Corporation, said he preferred to smoke marijuana rather than drink alcohol. “It better than drinking... with drinking you could turn an alcoholic,” he added. Nagoo was arrested around 7 am last Friday in Embacadere after the police found him with four plastic bags containing 100 grammes of marijuana.  

He pleaded guilty on Monday before Fourth Court Magistrate Natalie Diop but was remanded into custody for tracing. Before making his mitigation plea yesterday, Nagoo’s attorney Ainsley Lucky put the magistrate on notice that what he was about to say might sound jovial but if he heard any snickering or laughing from anyone he would ask her to clear the courtroom. Submitting that Nagoo was a gravedigger, he said the job sometimes got him down and he would smoke the marijuana to confront the trauma associated with it.


Noting that Nagoo’s job was not a pleasant one, Lucky said Nagoo was the sole breadwinner in his family, providing for his wife and children, aged 12 and eight. While his job might not be pleasant, the magistrate said marijuana was still illegal and Nagoo broke the law. She also noted that Nagoo was not a first-time offender and had two previous convictions.


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