A teenager, who admitted using drugs to cope with his anxiety issues, has been sentenced to 12 months' probation after Police found cannabis plants and small amounts of MDMA at his home.
Jean Barbe-Pinel (19) appeared in the Magistrate’s Court at the end of April, facing three drugs charges including possession and production.
He was first charged on 15 December 2018 after police officers attended a property in St. Brelade to check on his welfare.
When Barbe-Pinel came to the door, he admitted he had been smoking cannabis. He also told officers he had more cannabis resin – which he said in interview was for his personal use to last him through Christmas – as well as MDMA tablets.
Pictured: Barbe-Pinel had three cannabis plants locked up in his home.
Officers found 16.31 grams of cannabis resin and six-and-a-half MDMA tablets - both of which Barbe-Pinel said he had no intention of selling or sharing with anyone.
Officers also found one fully grown cannabis plant and two smaller ones. These were kept locked away, and only Barbe-Pinel could access them.
Advocate Sarah Dale, defending, said that Barbe-Pinel was of previously good character. She said he had been candid in interview and had shown remorse for his actions. “He does realise the seriousness of his situation and the impact it has had on his family.”
She explained Barbe-Pinel had also realised that his actions may have “curtailed his future travel plans”, as he was hoping to go traveling to surf.
She also provided a number of character references, which she said were supportive of his good character.
Pictured: Advocate Dale said Barbe-Pinel loved surfing.
Advocate Dale said that Barbe-Pinel had tried to keep his job and taken on different courses at Highlands. She explained he was used to seasonal roles, which he found very fulfilling and allowed him to pursue his passion, and that he was hopeful he would be taken on again for this season.
She told Court a probation order would allow him “to focus on his work and assist him with anxiety issues”, while being physically active would assist him with his general wellbeing.
She concluded her address saying that Barbe-Pinel’s cannabis use should be considered within the wider picture of his anxiety, adding that he had had a difficult year which “impacted on his mental health greatly.”
“This has been significant punishment enough for him,” she added.
The Assistant Magistrate, Peter Harris, said he had been concerned to learn that Barbe-Pinel had been self-medicating his anxiety with cannabis.
“I’ve never met anyone yet who didn’t find themselves worse off using cannabis,” he said, adding that Barbe-Pinel should take advantage of the probation order and the Drugs and Alcohol Service “to get that out of your mind.”
He put the young man on probation for 12 months and warned him that his offences would stay on his record, potentially affecting his travel opportunities as some countries do not allow offenders in.
“Make sure you don’t do it again,” he added. “Make sure it’s the last time you’re involved in it.”
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