Alleged drug ‘mule’ remanded in custody

Court House-07A 27-year-old Auckland woman accused of being a drug “mule” – with methamphetamine concealed inside her body – has been remanded in custody after a brief appearance in the Christchurch District Court.

Police waited several days for the evidence to be passed, according to a statement from the Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Cottam of the Christchurch police.

Kylie Natasha Puna faced a charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply when she appeared before Justices of the Peace at the Saturday court sitting.

She was treated in hospital after a crash in Yaldhurst Road after the car she was in was pursued by the police.

The car allegedly crashed through a barrier of police vehicles, damaging patrol cars and injuring two officers. The vehicle then struck another vehicle head-on, injuring three elderly people who were inside.

Puna was on crutches for her appearance in the dock while duty lawyer Louise Drummond asked for her to be remanded to Thursday to get legal advice.

The alleged driver of the vehicle the police pursued, Graham Theo Payne, 55, was arrested after the crashes and faces three charges of reckless driving causing injury, and one charge of failing to stop for a police vehicle using its lights and siren.

Payne appeared in court last week and is in custody for a further appearance on Monday.

Nick Atkins, Justice of the Peace, today explained to Puna that the JPs did not have the jurisdiction to consider bail for her, and remanded her in custody for an appearance by video-link from the prison on Thursday morning.

A man in the court’s public seating waved and gestured to her, and called out to her as she was led through the door back to the cells.

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