Paulo Duarte Pinto was given a 12-month probation order by the Royal Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing a utensil for the purposes of committing an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Law.
Crown Advocate Conrad Yates told the court that a set of electronic scales capable of weighing minute amounts, which are not commonly used for household or domestic purposes, were found by officers following a raid on Pinto’s home. He added that traces of heroin were detected following an examination of the scales’ case.
Officers also found £800 in cash in Pinto’s car’s glovebox, which he said was his life savings.
The court heard that Pinto, who is originally from Madeira, has nine previous convictions – five of which related to being in possession of a controlled drug.
Advocate Martin Elks, defending, said that his client had not used the scales for drug trafficking and that Pinto maintained that the presence of heroin on the scales’ case was from his personal drug use.
Delivering the court’s sentence, Sir William Bailhache warned Pinto that if he committed another offence while on probation he would be liable to return to court. He also told Pinto that the £800 cash which had been seized would be held until he had completed his probation.
‘You seem to us to be somewhere near a crossroads,’ Sir William said. ‘You can go one of two ways. If you carry on taking drugs it will be the bad way. You stand a chance of not going back to court which is what we would like to see.’
Jurats Anthony Olsen and Steven Austin-Vautier were sitting.