Sunday, March 3, 2024

Footballer scolded over ganja ‘find’


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Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch yesterday read the riot act to an aspiring national footballer who was caught with 28 packets of marijuana stashed in his crotch area.

Empire Football Club player, 18-year-old Keymar Startto Clarence Holligan, who lives at Crestview Terrace, Eden Lodge, St Michael, will have to complete 240 hours of community service after he appeared in the District “C” St Matthias Magistrates’ Court.

“There are 280 000 people in Barbados and only a handful are good enough to play for the country. You are among that handful and this is what you do?” the Chief Magistrate asked Holligan, who had just pleaded guilty to having 11.8 grammes of cannabis on Thursday.

Prosecutor Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim said police were passing a block in Eden Lodge when they recognised the smell of burning marijuana. They saw Holligan fidgeting with his pocket and this aroused their suspicions.

They searched him and found 28 bags, each containing ganja, inside a clear plastic bag, which was inside a pink bag, hidden in his groin area.

When they questioned Holligan, he told them: “Them is my drugs that I found on the beach.

“I did getting myself ready for the Barbados football match as a national player,” the teenager later told the court after he explained how he happened upon the drugs on a beach.

“I just tell myself I gine carry them for my friends,” he said.

“You know you are not making that team?” the Chief Magistrate asked Holligan.


Scouts up there


“You know it is highly unlikely that you are going to get selected for Sunday and you know there are going to be scouts up there, too? How does that make you feel?” the Chief Magistrate asked the teenager.

“Bad,” he replied.

“Bad? You should have said devastated,” the Chief Magistrate replied.

He told Holligan that he could find himself facing random drug testing and a positive result could even result from being in the company of drug smokers.

And all positive results were sent to FIFA, the sports’ governing body, by the Barbados Football Association. The Chief Magistrate told Holligan a drug conviction would hamper his prospects of getting a United States visa and of taking advantage of any football opportunities in the United States or England.

The Chief Magistrate further marvelled that Holligan was not only able to figure out what was in the bag with just one look at it, but took it up without regard to his football career.

“I marvel at some of you youngsters. You can walk past garbage at the side of the road and you won’t pick it up and clean it up. But somehow you all have this X-ray vision that you can look at something at the side of the road and work out there is something in there I want. How is it that you can’t clean up your own rooms but you can spot ganja by the side of the road or in somebody’s road? What kind of talent is this?” Birch asked.

On the advice of a probation officer, Chief Magistrate Birch ordered Holligan to complete 240 hours of community service by September 7.

He released Holligan on $750 bail and ordered him to return on that date when a report will be read to the court. (HLE)


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