Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
musician Andy Brown’s widow, Sherry Nadine Stoddart, has fallen on hard times and appeared in court on Monday for possessing dagga and the cough mixture Bron cleer (Bronco) that she confessed to selling for personal upkeep.Bron cleer is a cough syrup with high alcohol content.
Stoddart (29) pleaded guilty to charges of possessing dagga and unregistered drugs when she appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rekina Dzikiti.
Stoddart told the court that she was using the dagga for chest infections since she was asthmatic, before Ms Dzikiti quizzed her about her possession of Bron cleer.
Stoddart then said it was a prescription for medical purposes, prompting the magistrate to reprimand her for dishonesty.
“Learn to tell the truth. I will lock you up and you will come back sober,” said Ms Dzikiti.
Stoddart then told the court: “I am a widow. My husband died three years ago and I was left with two minor children. I am now selling dagga and Bron cleer to make ends meet,” she said.
Stoddart then pleaded for mercy.
Pleading guilty is a sign of remorse and contrition, she said.
Ms Dzikiti then fined Stoddart US$30 for possessing dagga or 14 days in prison. Another 30 days of the sentence was wholly suspended for five years.
For dealing in unregistered drugs, Stoddart was fined another US$50 or 20 days in prison. Furthermore, 60 days were set aside for five years.
In passing sentence, Ms Dzikiti said Stoddart had started on the wrong path and that she would soon go to jail if she didn’t change her ways.
“Make another assessment in your efforts to make ends meet for the sake of your children. Today I will give you another chance but you have a suspended sentence hanging over your head,” she said.
Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri told the court that on August 23 this year, detectives received a tip-off that Stoddart was dealing in dangerous drugs.
Detectives went to her house in Cranborne, Harare, where they searched her bedroom and recovered 0,212kg of dagga concealed in a lunch box.
The dagga was weighed at the Harare Main Post Office in Stoddart’s presence and it was confirmed to be 0,212kg with a street value of US$27.
Further searches in the bedroom revealed a small black bag containing 30 by 100 millilitres of Bron cleer cough syrup whose street value was pegged at US$90.