Drug offenders ask Court for treatment

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 23 September 2022, 10:00AM

Two re-offenders who claim to have a drug addiction are asking the Supreme Court to be released on bail and referred to a specialist to undergo treatment.

Stuart Webber also known as Y-Dee and Junior Pritchard made the request through their lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu who raised the matter in Court this week when the men were scheduled for sentence. 

As for Pritchard, his lawyer asked for bail for her client pending his sentencing, pointing out that there is a specialist who can assess her client and provide treatment. 

But Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa rejected the proposition by Unasa, saying the defendant is not eligible for Alcohol and Drugs Court and there is no treatment for drugs in Samoa. 

“If you are saying he has a drug problem there is no treatment available in this country for it,” said Justice Tuatagaloa. 

However, Unasa insisted that there is a specialist by the name Sulivao Senio, whom her client can be referred to for assessment and treatment. 

But Justice Tuatagaloa objected, saying that the specialist referred to is a clinician, and he provides psychological treatment not for drug addictions. 

She added Mr. Pritchard has previous convictions for methamphetamine and ice and not marijuana. 

The defence lawyer was then instructed to file her final submissions for sentencing and include the other arguments she had referred to in it. 

The defendant has already pleaded guilty to joint charges of possession of narcotics namely seven (7) zip lock bags containing methamphetamine weighing 2.36 grams, possession of narcotics namely 3 marijuana branches, possession of utensils and possession without permit. 

Two other defendants are also facing the same charges with Mr. Pritchard in relation to a police raid at Vaigaga on 2 February 2022 at his home. His sentencing has been adjourned to 7 October this year. 

On another separate matter, Mr. Webber through his lawyer filed a similar application before Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke seeking bail. 

Justice Clarke has reserved his decision on the application with decision to be delivered on the same. 

Mr. Webber has also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of utensils and two counts of possession of narcotics; 5.14 grams of methamphetamine inside nine zip lock plastic bags; and 1.68 grams of lose marijuana leaves. 

Webber was arrested and charged by Police last month during a drug bust in Lotopa where they confiscated different cash currencies in the amounts of WST$9,024.50, USD$374, NZD$90 and AUD$20. 

Other items seized by Police were a number of electronic devices including an advanced security camera system, jewellery and a vehicle with an estimated value of WST$60,000. 

Both men are remanded in custody pending their sentencing.  

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 23 September 2022, 10:00AM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.