Pressure exerted for prison smuggling

January 20, 2016 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-08A Christchurch mother was pressured to try to smuggle drugs and tobacco into Christchurch Men’s Prison so that “nothing would happen” to an inmate at the jail.

Holly Gibson, 38, a cleaner who has the care of a child, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to a charge of bringing tobacco and synthetic cannabis into the prison.

Police said she had admitted having the items in her jacket when approached by Corrections Staff as she arrived to visit a prisoner on January 2. She had 160g of tobacco and 5.2g of synthetic cannabis.

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie said the situation was “not uncommon”.

“She talks about being very strongly requested by an inmate to do that, and another party coming to her address with the package to deliver to the inmate, so that nothing would happen if she complied,” said Mr McKenzie.

He said it was common for someone to be put in this position so that there would be no repercussions for their loved ones in prison. She had been frank with Corrections staff when approached. She was not a serious smuggler and had now been banned from visiting all prisons.

Judge Gary MacAskill noted that she had been put under some pressure to deliver the items, and had owned up when asked about contraband. He imposed a $450 fine.



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