Webber jailed for ‘ice’

A man who pleaded guilty to the possession of ice and marijuana – among other charges – has been sentenced to five years at Tafa’igata Prison. 

The sentence for Stewart Webber was delivered by Justice Mata Tuatagaloa in the Supreme Court last Friday. 

Webber appeared with his partner, Andrea Ah Chong and they were represented by lawyer, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i.

Webber pleaded guilty to the four charges against him, namely the possession of methamphetamine also known as ice, possession of 16 marijuana branches, possession of 18 marijuana seeds and possession of utensils. 

“Given the aggravating factors and the circumstances of this case, the Court adopts Band 2 in R v Fatu (supra) on sale or supply of methamphetamine and have 8 ½ years as starting point,” Justice Tuatagaloa said. 

“The defendant has no prior history of misconduct, is well regarded by members of his family and church.  He deserves 12 months to be deducted.   

“The defendant is also entitled to 1/3 discount for his change of plea which I considered to be an early plea because once the prosecution withdrew all the other charges the defendant changed his plea.

“The defendant is convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment.”

About the possession of marijuana, Justice Tuatagaloa said the amount found was for personal use. 

“The prosecution estimated that 16 branches weighing at 6.3 grams and loose leaves weighing at 6.3 grams are estimated to produce 15 marijuana joints.  

“The defendant on possession of 16 marijuana branches and loose leaves is convicted and fined $500 forthwith, in default 3 months’ imprisonment. 

“The defendant on possession of 18 marijuana seeds is convicted and fined $200 forthwith in default 6 weeks imprisonment.” 

The third charge relates to the possession of utensils, namely two glass pipes and one stainless steel socket.

“The defendant told probation in the pre-sentence report that he used the socket to smoke marijuana and the pipes for the consumption of methamphetamine.  The penalty is not more than seven years’ imprisonment.  

“The defendant is convicted and sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment. 

“The defendant, Stuart Webber, is to serve the above sentences as follows with the possession of methamphetamine as the main offence: i. The sentence for possession of utensils of 3 months is to be served concurrent with the sentence for possession of methamphetamine; ii. Should the defendant not pay the monetary fine or fines imposed, the in-default period will be cumulative to the sentence imposed for the possession of methamphetamine.  This means that 3 months or 6 weeks or both is added on to the 5 years imprisonment. iii. The sentence to less any time in custody.”

As for Ah Chong, she was convicted and given a supervision sentence for possession of marijuana.

“There is no evidence of any commerciality involved with these marijuana substances.  

“There is also no evidence that this defendant is a user of marijuana.  As I said earlier on she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. In the words of her Counsel “Her crime is she fell in love with Stuart without any knowledge of the activities he was engaged in.

"The defendant, Andrea Ah Chong, is convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ supervision with the following conditions:

i. 60 hours’ community service;

ii. Not to re-offend; and

iii. Any other as directed 

by Probation Services.”

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