Addict, caught with hard drugs multiple times, jailed for four years

 The unemployed man was arrested during a raid on an apartment in Gzira

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

A court has sentenced to four years imprisonment a man caught with a significant amounts of drugs on four different occasions.

Unemployed Jason Zammit, 43, was arrested during a raid by the police Drugs Squad on an apartment in Gzira on Saturday. This morning, magistrate Francesco Depasquale heard how the man had been caught with drugs on 1 April at a hotel in Gzira and in July 2017 was also found to be in possession of drugs.

He had been arrested on four separate occasions: 29 May 2017, when 2.5g of heroin was found on his person; 19 July 2017, when 10g of cocaine, 20g of heroin and €360 in cash were in his possession; 1 April when he was found to be carrying 36g of heroin, 20g of cocaine, €4,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia and most recently on 24 November, when he was found with 30g of heroin, 15g of cocaine and €1500 in cash.

Zammit was in such a bad state at the time of his last arrest that he was granted police bail to undergo rehabilitation until he could be arraigned today.

He was charged with supplying cocaine and heroin and aggravated possession of the two drugs in circumstances which denoted that they were not solely for his personal use. He was also accused of having driven a motor scooter recklessly, damaging a vehicle and recidivism.

Through his legal aid lawyer, Dunstan Camilleri, the accused entered a guilty plea.

Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca, prosecuting, told the court that Zammit had cooperated fully with the police. He exhibited the drugs, together with related paraphernalia and around €6,000 in cash.

Camilleri said the man was aware of the serious nature of the charges he was facing, telling the court that the man had a serious drug problem and wanted to overcome it.

He asked the court to provide all the assistance it could to treat his addiction and “leave this part of his life behind him.” He asked for clemency in view of the man’s cooperation with the police. The lawyer also told the court that €500 of the cash exhibited today were from the accused’s social benefits cheque.

The court, after seeing the charges and hearing the guilty plea, sentenced Zammit to four years imprisonment and to the payment of a fine of €1,000, payable within two years. He was also condemned to pay the costs of the magisterial inquiry. The drugs will be destroyed and the other exhibits are to be confiscated.

The court invited the prison authorities to provide all the psychological and medical assistance it could to help the accused overcome his acute drug problem by the time of his release.

The court admonished the man, telling him to sort out his life. “If not for you, for your family. They cannot continue to see you like this. Now it’s in your hands and you must help yourself.”