A nineteen-year-old woman was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of R3 000 or spend sixty days in jail for possession of heroin.

It is alleged that while members of the police were doing their crime-prevention duties around the Phoenix area, they came across Kayleen Nilakhanden and requested to search her, to which she consented. Upon their search officers found one unit of cocaine in her possession. She was arrested and conveyed to the local police station, where she was formally charged. The accused pleaded guilty to the crime and was convicted as such. In mitigation, the defence attorney, Mr Chetty from Legal Aid South Africa, submitted the teenager's personal circumstances and that she pleaded guilty to the crime. According to Chetty, Nilakhanden had taken responsibility by admitting to her wrongdoing. The public defender explained that the confessed drug addict should be given a second chance as she was still young and had her whole life ahead of her. Chetty suggested that a suspended sentence was suitable for the accused's misdeed.

The state prosecutor, Mr Dlamini, highlighted the seriousness and prevalence of the offence and suggested that a fine, partly suspended, was suitable. In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Chetty considered Nilakhanden's personal circumstances and her remorseful plea of guilty. The magistrate also noted that drug addiction did not only affect male persons but females have joined in the deadly scourge. Chetty sentenced Nilakhanden to pay a fine of R3 000 or spend sixty days in jail. The sentence was suspended for five years on condition that Nilakhanden is not convicted of a similar offence during the period of the suspension.

 

 

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