Attorney-at-law and former police Inspector George Adolphus Bennett was spending Wednesday night in prison on remand after he and a Guyanese man were charged in connection with the discovery of 253 kilogrammes of cannabis worth just over $2 million.
Just moments earlier, Station Sergeant Crishna Graham had objected to both men being granted bail on the basis of the seriousness of the charges and the strength of the evidence.
She said the quantum of drugs allegedly found in the possession of the two men was significant.
Graham further contended that Rudradeo was not a citizen of Barbados and had no ties here.
But Pilgrim asked the court to treat his client fairly, maintaining that Bennett was a perfect candidate for bail, not based on the fact that he was an attorney-at-law or a former police officer who served his country with distinction, but rather as an individual who was not known to the court and had no matters pending.
He said while there had been much talk about his client on social media, it was the court’s duty to treat him like any other person.
Pilgrim pointed out that there had been instances of accused persons being granted bail after being charged with similar or larger quantities of illegal drugs.
He said if necessary the court could ask for a sizeable surety to reflect the quantum of the drugs.
“The court has granted bail in the sum of $500 000 or more. My client is not known and has nothing pending. He is no different to anybody else who has come before this court, so how can we treat him any differently?” the QC asked.
Attorney-at-law Arthur Holder, who appeared on behalf of Rudradeo, argued that the court had granted bail to accused persons for illegal drugs with street values in excess of $3 million.
He said non-nationals had also been granted bail and as his client was not known to the court he was an ideal candidate.
Holder said the court could set a “gargantuan” amount to his client to tie him to the country and set appropriate conditions if it deemed that necessary.
But after listening to both sides, the Chief Magistrate conceded that while bail had previously been granted to persons in similar positions and that there was the need for equality within the law courts, he was not inclined to grant bail to the two accused men on the “first toss”.
“There has to be equality,” Weekes said. “Anyone from any neighbourhood should get the same treatment by law, but given the nature of the charges, the court will not exercise that discretion and will not grant bail today.”