Conviction sticks over drugs found on beach

| 10/08/2010

(CNS): A North Side man who was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of cocaine possession with intent to supply, which he found washed up on the beach, has had his appeal rejected. Garvin Bush appeared before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal (CICA) on Monday morning without an attorney stating that he believed his sentence was too harsh. Bush claimed that he should not have been convicted of intent to supply as the drugs, which included over ten grams of crack and almost six ounces of powder cocaine, were for his own personal use only. Originally tried in summary court Bush had already had an appeal heard and turned down in the grand court before he came before the court of appeal this week.

During his appeal to the CICA, the court explained to Bush that his appeal had to be based on a point of law in the ruling of Justice Cooke the judge who presided over Bush’s Grand Court Appeal and not on the facts of the original trial.
However, Bush continued to proclaim his innocence regarding the original summary court trial and the conviction of intent to supply insisting that he found the drugs and that he was using them himself as he admitted he had a serious addiction. “I was addicted to the drugs but I was using it not selling it,” he said. “I agree it was a big amount but all I was doing was harming myself.”
The appellant claimed that during his appeal in the Grand Court he was unrepresented and as he was not a lawyer he had not been given the proper opportunity to present his case. “I was abandoned from all help and I don’t have too much experience with the law,” Bush told the appeal court judges.
However, the CICA had to point out on a number of occasions that Bush needed to make it clear on what point of law he was now making his appeal given that one appeal had already been heard and refused. The CICA chair Sir John Chadwick explained to Bush that the only thing the appeal court could now consider was an appeal based on a mistake in law made by Mr Justice Cooke.
Following Bush’s protestations of innocence the three appeal court judges considered thematter before announcing that the appeal was dismissed and they would place their reasons in writing in due course.
Bush was handed down his 12 year sentence in June 2008 by Magistrate Margaret Ramsay–Hale who accepted that Bush found the cocaine as he said but concluded that he was not only using the drugs but was also determined to make a profit from them.
Police had found rocks of individually wrapped crack cocaine at his North Side home and portions of powder in separate plastic bags. The magistrate said in her verdict at the summary court trail that as he wrapped the rocks in foil they were unlikely to be for his own use. Bush had pleaded guilty to possession in January 2006 but had always denied that he was selling the drug.
Throughout his time in the court system Bush has had a number of issues with attorneys provided to him on legal aid certificates. At least four attorneys had appeared for him at various times with each eventually asking to come off record leaving him unrepresented at both his grand court appeal and at his most recent appearance in the court of appeal.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    You reap what you sow, Mr. Bush. If the drugs were for your own use, why separate out into plastic backs and wrap the rocks in foil? It’s common knowledge that’s how they are sold on the street, and the court has to go by the evidence presented, which was drugs wrapped as if it were going to be sold on the street. You reap what you sow. Maybe now you can get help with your addiction while serving 5/9th of the 12 years. Maybe you can get clean, hmmmm?