“I want to make an example so that your kids won’t feel tempted to do what you did. I feel if you have them under your care, you may use them one day to traffic cocaine,” were the words of Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty to two mothers before jailing them for trafficking cocaine.

The women, Shellon Barrow, 37, of 35 Victoria Street, Albouystown, Georgetown and Christine Griffith, 39, of Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown, were moments ago sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment.

Shellon Barrow

They were also ordered to pay a fine of $3.5M after they were found guilty of trafficking cocaine.

On September 15, 2018, Barrow had in her possession 1.638 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri.

Between September 14 and September 15, 2018, at the Sunset Hotel, Georgetown, Griffith delivered the suitcase containing the illicit drug to Barrow.

Christine Griffith

Both women had denied the allegation after it was read to them at their first court appearance. They were on remand for 15 months pending trial.

This morning when the matter was called in the courtroom of Magistrate McGusty, she highlighted the fact that throughout the trial, Barrow gave numerous contradicting stories as to how she came in possession of the suitcase.

The Magistrate added, “You told me so many different stories. I won’t even go over the stories because it’s quite a few.”

The Magistrate then told the court that after going through the entirety of the evidence that was presented by Custom Anti-Narcotics, Prosecutor Narissa Leander, she was satisfied that both women had knowledge of what they were doing and the video footage showed them willingly participating.

In the circumstances, she found them guilty.

Griffith, who cried throughout the hearing stated, “I am a single mother of four minor children. Please be lenient with me because I am innocent.”

Barrow who showed no remorse and smiled throughout the hearing stated, “I am a mother of five children.”

The prosecutor then stood before the Magistrate and said it is clear that the women did not consider their minor children when they chose to traffic the narcotics. She then asked that both women be given the maximum penalty.

The Magistrate then turned to the women and stated, “I am sorry that the kids will have to go through this but I have to make an example of you guys. Look at the value of the drugs, if you guys were successful, you would have one day use the kids to do the same. I feel if you have the kids under your care you may one day use them to traffic [drugs].”

The Magistrate then handed down the custodial sentence and fined the women $3.4M.

According to information, on the day in question, Barrow was intercepted while attempting to board a flight with the cocaine concealed in false walls of her hard cover suitcase.

While in custody, she implicated Griffith, telling the CANU officers that she was given the drugs by her. The court heard that there is a video footage from the hotel showing the drop off between Griffith and Barrow.


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