R v Payet (Criminal Side: CO 03/2015) [2015] SCSC 113 (13 April 2015);

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SEYCHELLES
Criminal Side: CO 03/2015

[2015] SCSC 113

THE REPUBLIC

versus

JULIA SUSAN PAYET
Accused

Heard:
Counsel: Mrs. Lansinglu, Assistant State Counsel for the Republic
Mr. Gabriel for the accused

Delivered: 13 April 2015

RULING

Dodin J

[1] The Accused Julia Susan Payet stands charged with one count of trafficking in 14.43 grams of substance containing 7.64 grams of Heroin (diamorphine) contrary to Section 5 read with Section 14(1)(c)(ii) as amended by Act 3 of 2014 and Section 26(1)(a) of the same Act and punishable under Section 29 read with the 2nd Schedule as amended by Act 4 of 2014 of the same Act.
[2] Learned Counsel for the accused moved the Court to grant bail to the accused for the following reasons:
(1) The accused co-operated fully with the Investigators when she was apprehended and hence poses no risk so as not to attend her trial;
(2) The accused is the mother of two minor children aged 2 and 8 years who are now placed in the custody of another person at Pointe Larue.
(3) The accused is a young person of 24 years old and has not committed any offence prior to this case.
(4) The amount of drugs in question being only 14.43 grams of substance containing only 7.64 grams of diamorphine, hence on the low side.
(5) Bail is a right that should be granted unless there are compelling reasons not to enlarge an accused person on bail and in this case all the circumstances show that there is no reason why the accused should not be granted bail pending trial.
[3] Learned Counsel for the Republic objected to the application for bail maintaining that the accused did not co-operated fully with the NDEA Agents until she was about to be searched that she gave the drugs to the agents.
[4] She further submitted that the amount of drugs is more than 10 times the limit for possession and the offence of trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment if convicted.
[5] Learned Counsel submitted that bail is a qualified right and in this case the offence committed is a serious one, noting that similar offence is on the rise in the country as stated in the Affidavit of Agent Lina William which she relied on in support of her submission. She moved the Court to dismiss the bail application.
[6] I have carefully considered the submissions of both Learned Counsels and read the affidavit of Agent William dated 19th January 2015.
[7] Whilst it appears true from the facts sworn to by Agent William that the accused voluntarily surrendered the drugs to the NDEA Agents before she was searched, it does not automatically mean that she may not be a flight risk and it does not deviate this Court from the fact that such offences continue to affect our society and people in the most dangerous manner.
[8] Furthermore, even if the amount of drugs is not very high, it is a Class A Drug and the accused does not appear to be denying possession of the same or understanding the consequences of such action.
[9] Hence at this stage, I am satisfied that it shall not be prudent to release the accused on bail but the Court shall revisit this issue at a later date if circumstances require.
[10] This application for bail is therefore declined accordingly.

Signed, dated and delivered at Ile du Port on 13 April 2015

 

G Dodin
Judge of the Supreme Court