Tag Archives: Friday

Woman heard ‘be not afraid’ before cure sealing John Paul II’s sainthood


Pictured from left, The then US President Geor...
Pictured from left, The then US President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, former President George H. W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card pay their respects to Pope John Paul II as he lies in state in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Polski: Beatyfikacja Jana Pawła II
Polski: Beatyfikacja Jana Pawła II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ailing Pope John Paul II riding in the Pop...
The ailing Pope John Paul II riding in the Popemobile on 22 September 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Crowd assembling for John Paul II's f...
English: Crowd assembling for John Paul II’s funeral on 8 April 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suffering a potentially fatal swelling in the brain, Costa Rican grandmother Floribeth Mora says a voice spoke to her through a photograph of the late Pope John Paul II, miraculously curing her and sealing the late pontiff’s sainthood.
The Vatican said on Friday Pope Francis had approved Mora’s cure as the requisite second miracle for the sainthood of John Paul II, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
Mora says she was diagnosed with an aneurysm in a cerebral artery on April 14, 2011 and sent home from the hospital with the warning she could be dead within a month, although the surgeon who made the diagnosis denies he gave such a warning.
According to Mora, she drifted off to sleep in the early hours of May 1, 2011 after watching a mass on television to mark the beatification of John Paul II, who died in 2005.
She says she prayed to the late pope to heal her, and when she awoke, her eyes fell on a picture of him she had on top of the television.
“I woke up when I heard a voice that said ‘get up,'” Mora, now 50, said on Friday at the Roman Catholic Church’s administrative offices in San Jose, showing the clipping. “I was alone in my room, I only had this clipping that was published around those dates to commemorate John Paul II’s papacy.”
“I had it in front of me and I heard a voice again that said ‘get up’ and I looked at his photo and saw his open arms and I heard a voice that said ‘be not afraid’ and I said ‘Yes Lord,'” she added between tears, a golden rosary hanging around her neck.
“I went to my husband and he asked me what I was doing and I just said ‘I feel fine, I feel fine, I feel fine.'”
In a written statement distributed by the Church, Mora said she had been warned that she likely only had a short time to live.
“I was even warned that it would not be more than a month,” she said.
The neurosurgeon who admitted and diagnosed Mora, however, denies he gave her a month to live. Alejandro Vargas says he forecast only a 2 percent chance Mora could bleed into her brain again within a year of her diagnosis, possibly killing her.
“She was sent home with medication that would reduce her blood pressure and was advised to improve her diet so as not to raise her cholesterol levels and thus decrease the chance of her having a second bleeding episode. She was sedated because the headaches were too sharp,” he told Reuters. “We didn’t send her home to be sedated and wait until she died in her sleep.”
NO EXPLANATION
However, Vargas cannot explain how Mora’s aneurysm disappeared.
“What we found remarkable, unbelievable really, was that by November there was absolutely no trace in her brain that she ever had an aneurysm,” he said. “I had never seen this in my career.”
Before he was beatified, the late John Paul had already been credited with asking God to cure a French nun of Parkinson’s disease, the same malady he himself had suffered from.
Mora lives in a small house in the eastern province of Cartago, around 14 miles (23 km) southeast of the capital, San Jose, with her husband, Carlos Arce, and their youngest child.
On the doorstep of their small, tidy house, she has erected a shrine to John Paul II.
A large printed image of the first Polish pope is decorated with colourful plastic flowers and Christmas lights. Resting on the pope’s portrait is a piece of paper confirming the diagnosis of her aneurysm.
Not everyone accepts her accounts as a miracle, her husband said.
“We’ve faced a lot of non-believers these last two years,” he said.
A few days ago, their youngest son showed his mother some posts on Facebook from people who didn’t believe that what happened to her was an act of God.
“It’s been very hard on her, those messages did nothing but make her cry,” Arce said.

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Facebook and Microsoft release figures on government data requests


Publicité pour Twitter et Facebook sur la vers...
Publicité pour Twitter et Facebook sur la version hébreu de Wikipédia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Microsoft Building
Microsoft Building (Photo credit: Artotem)
English: The Aviation and Missile Command can ...
English: The Aviation and Missile Command can now be found on two popular social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Facebook and Microsoft have disclosed how many government requests they have received for user data following the Prism surveillance scandal that’s enveloped the tech world.
Following reports on Friday, Facebook revealed, after pushing the government for transparency, it had been granted permission to disclose the volume of requests from law enforcement and agencies like the NSA.
In the six months leading up to the end of December 2012, Facebook said it received between 8,000 and 9,000 requests relating to up to 18,000 to 19,000 individual profiles.
These requests, the company said, spanned cases like sheriffs hunting missing children, police investigating an assault, marshalls tracking a fugitive or the NSA probing a terrorist threat.
No specifics on FISA

In a blog post Facebook reiterated that, of these requests, some are rejected outright, while it often asks the government to scale back requests or simply doesn’t serve up everything the government asks.
What the figures don’t state is how many of those requests were made or granted under the controversial Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA), but Facebook said it will continue to push that data to be revealed.
The social network wrote: “We will continue to be vigilant in protecting our users’ data from unwarranted government requests, and we will continue to push all governments to be as transparent as possible.”
‘Great start,’ says Microsoft

Soon after Facebook’s disclosure, Microsoft followed up by revealing it had been subject to 6,000 to 7,000 requests in relation to 31,000 to 32,000 accounts, in the six months leading up to December 31 2012.
Those requests spanned “criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders,” from local, state and national agencies, but the company said it wasn’t allowed to be more specific in relation to FISA requests.
In a blog post, John Frank, Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, said the company will continue to push for more information.
He wrote: “We appreciate the effort by U.S. government today to allow us to report more information. We understand they have to weigh carefully the impacts on national security of allowing more disclosures. With more time, we hope they will take further steps. Transparency alone may not be enough to restore public confidence, but it’s a great place to start.”
Google and Twitter push for specifics

Meanwhile, both Google and Twitter have shunned the opportunity to make similar disclosures, with the former stating that lumping criminal requests in with national security requests would be a backward step.
In a statement Google told AllThingsD: “We have always believed that it’s important to differentiate between different types of government requests. We already publish criminal requests separately from National Security Letters. Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users. Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.”
In a tweet, Twitter’s legal director Benjamin Lee concurred with Google’s assessment. He wrote: “We agree with @google: It’s important to be able to publish numbers of national security requests—including FISA disclosures—separately.”
Google has protested its innocence during the last week, writing to the government to request permission to release the information. Twitter had been somewhat incubated from the criticism following reports it had been one of the few companies to take a hard-line stance with the government.
So there you have it. Is this the first step towards greater transparency over what the US government is seeking through its controversial PRISM surveillance scheme or simply a little appeasement in the hope that the scandal will die down? The onus is now on tech companies to keep pushing.

Dutch national on drug rap prisoned


a shell gas station in Montego bay,jamaica
a shell gas station in Montego bay,jamaica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Cocaine powder Deutsch: Kokain in Pul...
English: Cocaine powder Deutsch: Kokain in Pulverform (als Salz) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: X-ray of an abdomen pilled up with co...
English: X-ray of an abdomen pilled up with cocaine Nederlands: Röntgenfoto van een buik vol met cocaine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: The Bay west Shopping center in Monte...
English: The Bay west Shopping center in Montego Bay, Jamaica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Dutch national who ingested 78 pellets of cocaine in an attempt to smuggle the drug out of Jamaica was sent to prison in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate‘s Court last Friday.

Clyde Vanewijk, 39, a disc jockey and nursing aide, was also ordered to pay a combined $1 million in fines for possession of, dealing in, and attempting to export two and a half pounds of cocaine. He had previously pleaded guilty to the charges on Thursday.

Allegations say about 12:30 p.m. on May 18, Vanewijk was preparing to board a Jet Air flight to Germany. While at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, he was observed acting suspiciously.

He was questioned and taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where over the next two days he excreted 78 pellets containing cocaine.

Vanewijk’s lawyer Carl Singh asked Resident Magistrate Winsome Henry to show leniency.

“Mr Vanewijk did this stupid act out of compassion for his father, who is to undergo an operation to insert a pacemaker,” said Singh. “He is a person of potential, he has dedication, and he was driven by compassion to do this silly act. If possible, we would ask for a deportation order or a fine in lieu of imprisonment.”

But RM Henry dismissed the suggestion.

“This is a very serious offence. You were trying to smuggle two and a half pounds of cocaine out of Jamaica,” RM Henry chided Vanewijk. “Your family could be arranging a funeral for you right now, because we have cases where drugs burst inside people and they die. I’m sorry, but I’ll have to give you a custodial sentence.”

In addition to a mandatory sentence of 18 months, Vanewijk was fined of $300,000 or six months for possession; $300,000 or six months for dealing and $400,000 or six months for attempting to export cocaine.

Turkish prime minister Erdogan pulls police out of Taksim square


Recep Tayyip Erdogan - World Economic Forum An...
Recep Tayyip Erdogan – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2004 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan - World Economic Forum An...
Recep Tayyip Erdogan – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)
English: Brazilian President Lula and Turkish ...
English: Brazilian President Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Português do Brasil: Presidente Lula recebe o primeiro-ministro da Turquia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, no Palácio Itamaraty. Türkçe: Başbakan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ve Brezilya Devlet Başkanı Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ile Brezilya’nın başkenti Brasilia’da görüştü. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turkey’s prime minister bowed to protesters on Saturday by ordering the police force to vacate Istanbul’s central square and labelling the extended use of tear gas to clear the area of demonstrations as “excessive”….

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have convulsed Istanbul and other major Turkish cities represented only a minority of the country and vowed not to be deflected from carrying out his broader plans.

The decision to withdraw came after he delivered a defiant speech earlier in the day, in which he promised that the police would remain in Taksim square. The police had used tear gas so extensively that plumes could be seen over central Istanbul and hundreds of gas canisters littered the streets, some even being found in the British Consulate.
Although the disturbance began over government plans to demolish a park adjoining Taksim square, the scope of the police crackdown against peaceful demonstrators on Friday swiftly transformed the event into a broader protest against the Turkish government and Mr Erdogan’s alleged authoritarian tendencies.
On Saturday, as the country’s main opposition party, the CHP, led a continuous stream of protesters to Taksim, the government announced that the police had been ordered to leave the area as of 4pm. The use of teargas continued for some time, however, as protesters threw stones at allegedly pro-government media groups and a fire blazed nearby, by early evening the retreat was complete and the square – and Gezi Park beside it – were full of protesters.
“Great day for the future of Turkey,” tweeted Cengiz Candar, a Turkish columnist. “The people of Istanbul won a decisive victory.”
The pullout followed not only more than 24 hours of protest that had lasted throughout the night and inflamed much of Istanbul, particularly secular middle class areas. It also came after warnings from the US and UK against the indiscriminate use of tear gas and the repression of fundamental rights of expression and assembly.
While Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s president, called for restraint, other figures in Mr Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development party – including the prime minister himself – indicated they had little time for the protesters’ complaints.
“Don’t compete with us,” Mr Erdogan warned the protesters in his initial speech on Saturday. “If you gather 200,000 people, I can gather a million .”
Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Ankara, where, according to some reports, tear gas was still being used against demonstrators, tweeted to the protesters, who he described as bandits: “I swear to God that we could drown you in a spoonful of water but pray to God that we believe in democracy.”
Protesters complained not only of limited coverage in Turkey’s traditional media but also of problems in accessing social media such as Facebook and Twitter – problems Turkey’s regulator attributed to congestion rather than censorship.
Mr Erdogan said he was ordering an investigation into the excessive use of tear gas and signalled flexibility on plans to install a new shopping mall on the site of Gezi park, the trigger for the protests
But he denounced some of the protesters as terrorists and the demonstrations themselves as a provocation.
“The parliamentary system fully functions in Turkey, every method other than elections is anti-democratic,” he said. “Just as the majority cannot put pressure on the minority, the minority also cannot impose its will on the majority.
The most common chant among the protesters was for the resignation of the Islamist-rooted Mr Erdogan, who is the champion of the wholesale transformation of much of Istanbul and whose party has just pushed through new alcohol restrictions.
Some of Mr Erdogan’s ministers have called for greater dialogue with the protesters, but Mr Erdogan said it was hard to find interlocutors among them.
Don’t compete with us. If you gather 200,000 people, I can gather a million
– Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Bulent Arinc, a deputy prime minister, said that an Istanbul court was right late on Friday to issuing a ruling to halt the building project in Gezi Park that sparked off the dispute, Mr Erdogan was insistent that the construction project should proceed, even if its final purpose was yet to be determined.
“We are only trying to make our people benefit. Do we still want to live in a Turkey where per capita income is $3,500 or in a Turkey where per capita is $20,000?” he asked, adding that his government’s green credentials had been neglected. “We are talking about urban transformation so that people can live as befits humans.”
Mr Erdogan also blamed the protests on the failings of the country’s weak opposition parties, which have repeatedly failed to beat him at elections where he has steadily increased his share of the popular vote and some of whose adherents have expressed their preference for military coups.
“The opposition has to be powerful and persistent too . . . if it cannot other circles will take its place,” he said.

Residents shocked by chopping death


My Family Coat of Arms given to the youngest f...
My Family Coat of Arms given to the youngest family members. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: James Young Simpson grave, Warriston ...
English: James Young Simpson grave, Warriston Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cottages of victims of the 1665-1666 plague in...
Cottages of victims of the 1665-1666 plague in , Derbyshire, England. On the left is the “Rose Cottage”, home of the Thorpe family, where all nine family members died. On the right is the home of Mary Hadfield and her family; all members of the household except Mary died. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
StateLibQld 1 167999 Wilson family members on ...
StateLibQld 1 167999 Wilson family members on the lawn at Claremont, Milford Street, Ipswich, 1912 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Simpson
Simpson (Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue)

Police, family members and residents of Shay Shay district near Gayle in St Mary, were left shocked and puzzled on Friday following the chopping death of a man in the district.

What is even more confusing for the family members is that one of their own, the deceased man’s former in-law, has been detained in connection with the killing.

Dead is Garth ‘Puss Eye’ Simpson, 39, a security guard.

Family members said Simpson used to be in a common-law relationship with one of their relatives for several years. The relationship produced a son. However, four years ago, their home was razed by a fire which not only destroyed their belongings, but also claimed the woman’s life.

Following the fire, he moved from the district but maintained good communication with his former in-laws, at times visiting to look for his son who stayed with his mother’s family.

Last Thursday, it is understood, Simpson visited to spend some time with his seven-year-old son who they said wasn’t doing so well in school. He was to stay there for several days.

gruesome incident

The family said they thought every thing was okay as they went to bed leaving Simpson and the accused man watching television on Thursday night. They later woke to the gruesome incident on Friday morning.

Police said Simpson retired to bed but was attacked and chopped all over his body. He was rushed to hospital by his former in-laws but eventually died from his injuries. Another family member was injured when he tried to intervene in the incident after hearing screams. The accused family member later handed himself over to the Gayle police.

“Mi deh inna mi room and can’t sleep and mi hear somebody (cursing). When mi go out deh a the youth mi see a sink the cutlass inna the man and a chuck mi chuck down pon him same time and him swing the cutlass,” the injured family member told THE STAR. “If mi never put up mi hand a inna mi face him woulda chop mi. Now mi little nephew him no have a mother or a father.”

Some family members were too distraught to talk and some consoled each other. “God know, I wish God could blow some breath inna him and put him back where we could see him. He was a good friend … like a brother. It rough, it rough, him mother weh birth him no feel it like we feel it,” another family member said of Simpson.

Another neighbour said following the incident, it was the accused man who told her to call the police, which she did.

Bedroom Tax victim commits suicide: Grandmother Stephanie Bottrill blames government in tragic note.


Stephanie Kalina
Stephanie Kalina (Photo credit: Ted Van Pelt)

Grandmother who had to pay extra £20 a week throws herself in front of motorway lorry
Ten days ago Stephanie Bottrill sat in the redbrick terrace house which had been home for 18 years to write notes to her loved ones,
She ripped the pages from a spiral-bound notebook and placed them neatly in little brown envelopes.

There was one for her son. Another for her daughter. Her mother. Friends. And a very special one for the year-old grandson she doted on.

Then in the early hours of last Saturday Stephanie, 53, left her home for the last time, leaving her cat Joey behind as the front-door clicked shut.

She crossed her road in Meriden Drive, Solihull, to drop one of her letters and her house keys through a neighbour’s letterbox. Then she walked 15 minutes through the sleeping estate to Junction 4 of the M6.

And at 6.15am she walked straight into the path of a northbound lorry and was killed instantly. Stephanie Bottrill had become the first known suicide victim of the hated Bedroom Tax.

In the letter to her son, Steven, 27, she had written: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government.”

Stephanie was tormented over having to find £20 a week to pay for the two under-occupied bedrooms she had been assessed for.

Days before her death she told neighbours: “I can’t afford to live any more.”

Solihull council Labour group leader David Jamieson, who knows the family well, said: “I’m absolutely appalled this poor lady has taken her own life because she was worried how she would pay the Bedroom Tax.

“I hope the Government will take notice and reconsider this policy.”
The police came to Steven’s door at 9.30 last Saturday morning. They were there with his sister Laura, 23, and he knew something terrible had happened. They told him his mum had taken her own life.

He said: “It was a shock at first. You just ask why? The policeman told me she had left notes. I was on my own, looking after my little boy.

“I just wanted to keep looking after him, to keep it all in. I told the police to keep the note. I was still getting my head round it.”

So it was not until Sunday that Steven was ready to read the note.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it. She said not to blame ourselves, it was the Government and what they were doing that caused her to do it.

“She was fine before this Bedroom Tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people in offices and big houses.

“They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum.”

On the Thursday before she died – when she wrote the farewell letters – Stephanie had phoned her son to say she was struggling to cope.

He promised to get help and next day phoned her GP.

Stephanie came home from the GP’s surgery with sleeping tablets.

That Friday teatime, Steven came to see her after he finished work. He tried to reassure her, telling her everything would be OK. He says now he should have hugged her but he thought it might upset her.

Stephanie Bottrill suicide note Part of Stephanie’s note to her son
Page One Photography

On the way home he resolved to take her to A&E next day and stay there until she got the help she needed.

That evening a neighbour took Stephanie some dinner. Like Steven, she thought Stephanie would cope. But neither saw her again.

In the early hours of Saturday, Stephanie headed downstairs, past boxes of her things packed up and ready to go.

Boxes marked “kitchen” and “bedroom”. Stephanie had nowhere to go. But she had packed anyway so when the council found her a smaller place she would be prepared.

Steven said: “She didn’t want to go but she knew she had to. She couldn’t afford to stay. It was too hard.

“She wasn’t eating properly. There wasn’t any proper food. There were about 30 tins of custard.”

Stephanie had lived in her £320-a-month home for 18 years, but couldn’t cope with the extra £80 she had to find every month.

She needed to downsize but nothing suitable was offered to her.

And she was upset she would have to leave the home in which she raised her two children as a single mother.

The well-kept back garden was Stephanie’s pride and joy. She had buried her favourite pet cats there and she liked to sit out there in the sun and remember them.

Steven remembers they didn’t have much as they grew up. His mum would struggle to afford clothes and food but they were happy and always well-turned out.

As a child Stephanie was diagnosed with the auto-immune system deficiency, Myasthenia gravis.
The illness made her weak and she had to take constant medication.

Steven said she wanted to work, but there was no way she could.

Doctors had told her she was too ill to hold down a job, but she had never been registered as disabled, so she lived without disability benefit. After splitting with the children’s father, Stephanie raised Laura and Steven on her own.

Steven, an HGV driver, said: “Even though it was difficult for Mum bringing us up on her own, we were really happy here.”

Eventually, Steven left to set up in his own place with his own family.

It was close enough to visit his mum and he came round whenever he could.

Then two months ago Laura also moved out and into a flat with her long-term partner. It happened quickly and Stephanie struggled at first.

It also meant that instead of losing 14 per cent of her housing benefit for one spare bedroom she would now lose 25 per cent for two rooms.

But friends and family rallied round and she began to adjust on her own.

She took the decision to tell the council she was living in a three-bedroomed house on her own.

The £80 per month extra she would have to pay was too much for her. She would have to leave her home.

Steven said: “She was sad about Laura going but she had got over that and was coping. Being asked for the extra Bedroom Tax money was just too much for her.”

Stephanie told her next-door neighbour Tracey Hurley: “I cannot afford to live any more.”
She was visited by officials, who told her she would be charged for any repairs to her property.

That would whittle away the £2,000 she had been offered by the council to move home. It meant Stephanie had to strip wallpaper and lift carpets herself. She also had to mend her back fence.

And they failed to find a suitable property for her – the bungalow they offered was a 30-minute walk from a bus stop and miles from her family and friends.

So Stephanie was trapped in a house she couldn’t afford.

And neighbours did their best to help as she faced losing her home.

Neighbour Tracey, 49, said: “Her garden meant so much to her.

“She called it her special place and the one place she felt at peace.

“But they were going to take that from her. She just couldn’t stand it.” Tracey did her best to care for her friend and saw her on the Friday before she died. She said: “Stephanie hadn’t eaten for three days. She was desperate.

“We were having a barbecue and she popped her head over the fence to say hello. She didn’t want to socialise so I took her some dinner.

“When I went round I hugged her and told her to just come and knock on the door if she needed me.

“I told her not to do anything stupid. The council would have to help her. She asked me for another hug. Then in the morning the police came. I couldn’t believe it.”

Other neighbours on the estate are being hit with the Bedroom Tax.

Tracey said: “They are making me pay it and it’s going to be tough but people don’t have any choice.

“This is not just politics, this is people’s lives.”

Next Friday, Tracey will be among friends and family at the funeral.

The family were struggling to pay so the Sunday People has made a contribution.

Stephanie’s death didn’t make headlines locally. But her friends know exactly what happened to her.

And they believe the shock of her death will be felt far outside her community.

Tracey added: “There’s no way Stephanie is going to be the last to die because of this Bedroom Tax. She’s not going to be the only one.”

Man swallows 96 bags of cocaine


English: A woman smoking crack from a glass pipe.
English: A woman smoking crack from a glass pipe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Cocaine flavored like Strawberries an...
English: Cocaine flavored like Strawberries and other fruits from San Francisco. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/programs/forensicsci/microgram/mg1208/mg1208.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Close up shot of a broken piece of compressed ...
Close up shot of a broken piece of compressed cocaine powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Cocaine powder Deutsch: Kokain in Pul...
English: Cocaine powder Deutsch: Kokain in Pulverform (als Salz) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man who passed out 96 parcels of cocaine after returning to the island from Guyana, was hauled before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate‘s Court on Friday.

Charged with possession, dealing, importing and conspiring to import cocaine is Asburn Gunzell. He entered a guilty plea and offered the court an explanation for his actions.

The court was told that the cocaine passed out by the accused weighed 3.3lb.

Gunzell told the court, “Your Honour, a nuh my drugs enuh … a somebody give me fi carry it.”

Resident Magistrate (RM) Stephanie Ainsley-Jackson asked the accused, “What were you doing in Guyana?” and he replied, “Ma’am, a somebody send me”.

RM Ainsley-Jackson said, “This was clearly a premeditated act on your part … You left Jamaica, went to Guyana, and came back with the drugs.”

In handing down the fine and sentence, the RM told Gunzell that she took in mind that he did not waste the court’s time.

Gunzell was then fined $200,000 or three months for possession and $300,000 or three months for importing. He was also given an additional 18 months in prison.

All the other charges were admonished and discharged.

Gunzell was advised that if the fines were not paid, the time would run concurrently, but consecutively to the 18 months.