Court alarmed by "children with 450g of drugs on them"

Two young people remanded in custody

A young man and woman have been remanded in custody after police found a considerable amount of drugs and related paraphernalia in their possession.

Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee told magistrate Joe Mifsud how a police patrol had stopped the pair, finding a “considerable amount” of cannabis in the woman’s handbag. A subsequent house search revealed more drugs, bringing the total up to 430g.

Shannen Grech 20, from Valletta and Zane Cassar, 17, from Floriana were charged with aggravated possession of cannabis. Mr Cassar alone was also charged with trafficking. The two accused, both of whom said they were unemployed, pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers Veronique Dalli and Dean Hili requested bail, but this was refused.

The court expressed alarm at the increasing number of crimes and amounts of drugs being found.

“Children with 450g drugs on them. If this doesn't alarm the country… something must be done. I'm not seeing debates in the newspapers about this. The judicature cannot deal with the problem alone. All the forces must unite and we all must unite behind forces of order.”

Society and parents must instill discipline and respect for authority at a young age, said the court, as it ordered the pair be remanded in custody.

“He's going to Mtaħleb prison for minors for the fresh air,” said the magistrate, as the boy left the courtroom sobbing.