A 41-year-old woman who was stopped at the Airport trying to leave with more than £8,000 of criminal cash has avoided jail.
The Royal Court on Monday chose to suspend the sentence of Kasie Ellis – meaning that she will only go to prison if she commits another offence in future – because of her vulnerability, as well as her responsibilities as a carer.
Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam told the Court that Ellis had flown into the island from Bristol on 5 January and was stopped at Customs.
“She was suspected to have imported drugs and as a result was arrested, detained and held in custody for three days,” she said.
“The defendant tested positive for covid and due to having no funds to pay for accommodation, she was taken to the Sarum Hotel to isolate on 8 January.”
Two days later, she left to meet a man at the Royal Yacht Hotel carrying a black handbag. She went to a fifth-floor room with him and left just two minutes later, returning to the Sarum and booking a flight to Birmingham for the next day.
“At the Airport, she was arrested by the police for breaching the covid regulations, namely that she was required to isolate until 15 January,” said Advocate Hallam.
Customs also stopped Ellis and found £8,020 in her bags, including a large quantity of £10 and £20 notes in a pair of trainers.
Mobile phone messages included instructions about collecting the money seized from her, while airline records showed her taking numerous flights between the island and Bristol and Southampton airports between January 2021 and January 2022.
Advocate Julia-Anne Dix, defending, argued that there were exceptional circumstances in this case which warranted a suspended sentence.
This included Ellis’s vulnerability, she said, which had been made clear in a psychological report which described how she had been preyed upon and exploited by others. She also had caring responsibilities, her lawyer added.
Although the source of the money could not be proven, the Court said it was sure it was the result of criminal activity.
Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae, who was sitting with Jurats Jerry Ramsden and Kim Averty, agreed that a suspended sentence was appropriate, adding a two-year supervision order to be conducted by a supervising officer of the Wales Probation Trust, where Ellis lives.
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