10 September 2013
To the Sentencing Magistrate
Sunshine Magistrates’ Court
I am writing a character reference for my younger brother, Jessie Hartfurd, who is
pleading guilty to the charge of “Use of a Drug of Dependence”. He first informed me
of his offending three weeks ago when he sought help finding a lawyer to represent
him in court.
Our entire family was taken aback at the news of my brother having committed a drug
offence. He has never been the type of person to do anything that would cause our
parents any significant
disappointment. As Jessie’s older sister, I lived closely with him growing up and I can
say that he has always led a very positive lifestyle; graduating with honours and
earning the respect not just of my parents and all of his three siblings, but that of
many people in our neighbourhood as well. He provides free Math tutorial lessons to
elementary students in the summer and is currently an assistant coach to a high school
baseball team. He is also a very devoted brother who sacrificed almost half of his
when growing up so that our younger brothers could join non-compulsory school field
Jessie has never previously been involved with drugs and certainly does not have any
criminal record. We understand that he lost his girlfriend of four years approximately
two months ago in a car accident and that he is still trying his best to cope with the
grief. However, he has made clear to me during our conversations that such an event
is not an excuse to resort to drugs and that he wouldn’t approve of his younger
brothers resorting to the same measures to combat grief or emotional pain.
My brother has been very cooperative with the Police and deeply regrets the offence
he has committed. He is presently attending grief and drug therapy counselling and
hopes to be able to move on as quickly as possible. As he graduated from college this
year, he is especially troubled by what this charge can do to his employment
prospects. He is also worried by how this charge might affect the name of the school
for which he serves as an assistant baseball coach and by how the children and
teenagers he coaches may lose confidence in him as their mentor.
I am confident that this will remain a one-off incident for Jessie from which he will
learn lessons that he will use from here onwards. Our entire family loves Jessie and
we will continue to support him and wish him the best outcome for this case.