Couple caught selling marijuana, given suspended sentence

A couple has been given a 12 months suspended sentence after pleading guilty to possession and sale of cannabis (marijuana).

The couple, David Harry and Sharina Harry, are from Tongoa and live at Seaside.

They have four children.

The couple was caught with marijuana packages in their home after the police acted on a report in May 2016.

At the couple’s residence the police recovered three packages of dried leaves wrapped in newspaper.

According to the court judgement the couple were selling the cannabis at Vt100 per roll and were reportedly making between Vt500 and Vt1,000 per day.

The wife also admitted that she assisted in selling the cannabis joints whenever her husband is not at home to meet their needs at home and to keep their children in school.

The court found that the couple were not involved in cultivating cannabis, which is a more serious offending than possession or selling, according to precedents set by the Court of Appeal.

“The defendants’ offending is aggravated by its brazen openness and ease with which it was committed with full knowledge of its illegality,” Justice Daniel Fatiaki stated in the judgement.

After considering precedents set by the Court of Appeal, Justice Fatiaki imposed a concurrent sentence of two years’ imprisonment for each of the offences on each of the defendants.

In considering mitigating factors, the court took into consideration the delay in bringing the case to conclusion, early guilty pleas, good character of the defendants and the absence of any repetition of the offending as well as the “low level” of the offending as pointed out in the precedent set by the Court of Appeal.

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