A woman who smuggled Class C drugs into Guernsey's prison for her boyfriend has avoided behind thrown behind bars herself.
Rebecca Steer (34) supplied her boyfriend in Les Nicolles prison with two Gabapentin tablets, but said she acted alone and he had not asked her to bring the drugs for him.
The prosecution said that it was “not clear” at which point Steer passed the drugs to her partner when she visited him in prison.
Pictured: Gabapentin is a prescription-only medication and a Class C drug.
The court heard that Steer was searched when entering the prison. It was noted that the search was a “pat down” and that Steer’s hair and mouth were not checked. Officers watched Steer’s visit with her partner, during which they kissed and held hands. Officers intervened and stopped the visit.
Steer’s partner had been searched before the visit and was not in possession of anything prohibited. After his visit with Steer, he was searched again and officers found two yellow tablets, which were later confirmed to be Gabapentin, a controlled Class C drug.
Steer initially denied knowledge of the drugs, but a search of her home revealed packets of Gabapentin. Steer’s advocate, Sam Steel, said that Steer “did hold her hands up in the end”, by entering a guilty plea before a trial date.
“My client has instructed me to offer an unreserved apology. She understands that prison discipline is vitally important and that her actions could have resulted in a risk to staff and inmates,” said Advocate Steel.
Pictured: Steer smuggled the Class C drugs into Les Nicolles prison where she was visiting her boyfriend, who is an inmate.
Advocate Steel said that Steer did not attempt to justify her actions but offered an explanation for the crime.
“During phone calls with [her partner] she became aware that he was not being prescribed Gabapentin, which he had been addicted to before going to prison. She made the regrettable decision to bring him Gabapentin to try to help him with prison life," he said.
Advocate Steel said that it was a “small amount” of the controlled drug which was purely for personal use and could not realistically have been used as prison currency.
The court heard that Steer had been addressing her own “drug issues” since the incident and had asked her doctor to stop prescribing her Gabapentin.
Pictured: Steer was sentenced in the Magistrate's Court on Thursday [4 August].
Judge McKerrell said that Steer should be in no doubt as to the seriousness of her actions, which he described as “foolish, deliberate and unprovoked”. He said he could only give her minimal credit for her guilty plea as it came “at the last minute”.
“Prison discipline is vitally important… it was not your place to know better than prison officers how to best care for [Steer’s partner]. While it was only two tablets, any at all threatens the food order and running of the prison,” said Judge McKerrell.
Judge McKerrell said that the custody threshold had been crossed “by some distance” and he imposed a four-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.
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