Young man gets conditional discharge for cannabis possession

Court delivered a 12-month conditional discharge, encouraged the young man to seek help

A 22-year-old French national was conditionally discharged for 12 months after he was found guilty in court of the simple possession of cannabis.

Hugo Rene Henry Fauchier, who is currently visiting Malta and due to return to his home country in the coming days, was yesterday caught in possession of 14g of cannabis resin, after police, acting on a tip-off, searched the residence he was staying at in Sliema Road, San Gwann.

He was arrested, and subsequently told the police that he consumed cannabis on a daily basis, and had bought the amount he was caught with from Paceville.

Fauchier, who stood in the courtroom wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sliders, pleaded guilty to the charge brought against him.

The prosecution told the court that, in its view, it would be best for the young man to confront his habit and seek help in dealing with it.

In turn, the defence said that the accused had fully cooperated with the police, had apologised for his actions, and had also given the authorities information on where he bought the drugs from.

 “The accused has confirmed that he realises what he did was wrong, and he is seeking help to kick his habit. He is young, it’s his first time in Malta, and he is set to return home soon,” the defence said.

Taking into consideration his early admission of guilt, the nature of the offence, the accused’s cooperation with the police, his clean conviction sheet and his young age, the court, presided by Magistrate Gabriella Vella, found him guilty as charged, but discharged him on the condition that he not commit another offence for a one-year period. 

The Magistrate told the accused that she was not giving him a prison term so that he could instead seek the appropriate treatment, cautioning him that his habit could end up getting him into trouble.

She also warned that if he broke the terms of his conditional discharge, he risked receiving a maximum prison term of 12 months, or a fine of up to €2,000.

Inspectors Jonathan Ransley and Mark Mercieca prosecuted

Lawyer Charmaine Cherrett was legal aid for the accused.

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