Appeal court upholds 14 year jail term for dealer

| 09/04/2014

(CNS): A cruise ship worker from St Vincent who was jailed in the Cayman Islands in February 2012 for 14 years after being caught dealing cocaine on the streets of George Town will stay in jail after the Court of Appeal dismissed his application for a reduced sentence. Seaford Laborde, who wasworking on the Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, was convicted of possessing over 2 pounds of cocaine with intent to supply after he was caught in March 2011 by an undercover cop investigating reports of drug smuggling on cruise ships. Local defence attorney Lucy Organ argued that Laborde’s sentence was excessive as he was a mule rather than a street dealer.

She said that the amounts were also in question because of the purity of the drug, and although he had been caught by an officer, the way the drug was packaged indicated that the cruise ship worker was smuggling rather than selling directly to people. Organ said nothing illegal was found in Laborde’s cabin, such as cutting agents or scales, that would indicate he was a dealer.

Organ said that her client had no previous convictions and had worked aboard the cruise ships for more than 15 years. She pointed out that as a foreign national he was miles away from his family in St Vincent where his wife and children, who cannot visit him, remain.

The lawyer said that the sentence was manifestly excessive because although there were no aggravating circumstances, there were several mitigating ones as she asked for the appeal court to consider dropping the sentence by two years.

However, Organ’s efforts fell on deaf ears and the court dismissed the appeal, upholding the 14 year term, stating that the judges would give their reasons in writing before the end of the current session.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So we pay to feed, clothe, house and treat him for any health problems for 14 years? Seems like the people of Cayman being punished more than him. Fine him and deport him!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I say let the prisoners farm their own food or starve! They wouldn’t want to go back to jail!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a good candidate for @LockedUpAbroad.

  4. Foreign Devil says:

    Deport the bastard, do not spend our money to incarcerate him.

  5. Diogenes says:

    Will we see an equivalent line, both on location and duration of incarceration, being taken in relation to our own son of the soil currently facing US charges of conspiracy to import over 3000 times as much cocaine into Cayman?  What's goods for the goose…. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Deport him to his homeland to serve his time. Cayman shouldn't have to pay for his incarceration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. Sweep it under the carpet a' pretend it didn't happen and get someone else to pay. 

  7. Trutsaya says:

    I have a better idea. Deport the prisoner to his home country and save us some money. 14yrs @ 50K cost a year not including court costs = 700K.

    Please do us a favour.

    • Anonymous says:

      It shouldn't cost that much per prisoner.  Feed them smaller portions, less expensive food (rice and beans) everyday of the week or let them grow what they eat ( chickens, and provisions).

  8. pmilburn says:

    Send him back to his own country to serve his time.14 yrs at how much a year to be footed by us?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ok Miss attorney, know youre just doing your job but obviously you dont have children and do not realize the damage drugs do to them only what you see on the internet. Check the history of young people on this island and the ones that have died from the use of drugs being bought in here by mules like him. Fourteen years in jail is soft compared to some ones life. Maybe his children will learn something from this. Leave him there and let him rot we paying for it anyway. At least we know where he is.

  10. Anon says:

    I'm sorry for his wife and children but I'm sure, I'd he was 'just' a mule, he was doing it for financial gain. Pity they didn't find out who was to be the recipient; or maybe they did and, and he's taking the fall.