A 28-year-old carer, who travelled over to the Island yesterday, was caught by customs officers at the port with over £1,000 worth of cannabis.
Carer Tony Vella, who was looking after a blind man and his guide dog, was halted by customs at Elizabeth Terminal yesterday and searched.
The Magistrate’s Court today heard he had £1,160 worth of cannabis in his possession and was charged with importation of a controlled drug, for which Vella, of Earls Barton, Northampton, pleaded guilty and was handed a £500 fine.
Police Legal Advisor Carla Carvalho said: “Customs officers observed the Condor Liberation embark and spoke to the defendant and asked if his car could be inspected.
“He told the officers he had nothing to declare but on examination of a green holdall he appeared nervous. Officers found 50g of cannabis resin in the holdall and a further 8g in a glass dish. The total of 58g has a street value of £1,160.
“He told customs officers he had used cannabis from a very early age and had purchased it in Northampton for £30. He admitted he had no intention of supplying as the drugs were for his own personal use.”
Defending Advocate James Bell said: “There is no suggestion he had any intention of passing this on. This was a very poor error of judgment on his behalf and he would like to offer an apology for bringing cannabis into the Island.
“He has previous convictions but I would urge you to look at the dates. Since August 2012 there have been no offences and he has not come to the attention of the courts for four years.
“He has enjoyed a turnaround in his employment and he works as an assistant in a caring role. This job is affiliated with local social services. It is a role he has managed to fulfil and hold onto.”
Relief Magistrate Sarah Fitz asked why Vella had come to Jersey?
Defending Advocate Bell said: “He came with the person who he assists and that person is present at the back of the court. This trip to Jersey has not gone well at all and he has clearly let the side down.”
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