Steven Friedberg *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Steven Friedberg *Photo by Kageaki Smith

THURSDAY, SEPT. 13: A tourist had his Bermuda honeymoon ruined after officers found cannabis in his cruise ship cabin.

Steven Friedberg, 62, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court today to possession of cannabis on September 12 in Sandy’s.

He was a passenger aboard the Norwegian Star.

Earlier this morning, Prosecutor Takiyah Burgess told the court customs officers searched the ship with a canine alerting them to Friedberg’s cabin.

In the safe, officers found rolling papers, three homemade cigarettes and three partially smoked cigarettes.

The defendant was arrested later that day and admitted the drugs belonged to him.

Ms Burgess told the court the amount was six grams.

But Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner wondered why the file had been brought to court.

He asked Ms Burgess if the charge had been “vetted” by the DPP and asked why she was “wasting my time”.

She told him the file didn’t go to the DPP officers before coming to court.

Mr Warner said: “It’s the DPP as far as I know, the only person I know who can proffer charges in this jurisdiction.

"These are serious charges and there is a policy that must be administered consistently.

“I think with almost every prosecutor now, I have sent that message to your superiors.

“You cannot run your business like this.”

The Senior Magistrate also said it was an “embarrassment” to his court, something he wouldn’t allow.

Mr Warner adjourned the matter to this afternoon when Prosecutor Susan Mulligan told him the information had in fact been vetted by the department.

Ms Mulligan told the court the Crown would be proceeding with the matter.

Mitigating for his client, Mark Pettingill said Friedberg smoked for medicinal reasons.

He also said now that his client had been removed from the ship, he would have to pay to get back to the US.

“I think a conditional discharge is highly appropriate with the circumstances of this case with the knowledge of them being thrown off the boat, a conditional discharge is appropriate.”

Ms Mulligan said she had “difficulty” suggesting a conditional discharge.

“My concern is that we’re considering treating tourists different from Bermudians when it comes to the law.

“It would be a rare case when a Bermudian would receive a conditional discharge.”

Mr Warner said he had considered submissions from both lawyers but “rejected” the application for a conditional discharge.

Friedberg was fined $800 to be paid immediately.