Jail for drug smuggler who claimed to be on family trip

A FATHER-of-four who travelled to Jersey with almost £22,000 worth of class A drugs hidden internally, while claiming to be on a family holiday, has been jailed for 6½ years.

Cédric Joël Conord, who is from the French village of Gaël, had flown to Jersey from Gatwick and told Customs officers that he was meeting his wife and two of his children in Jersey the following day when they were going to find a hotel for their stay.

When Customs officers searched his small bag they found no illegal items but found ‘minimal clothing with him and no toiletries’ as well as just £14 in cash.

The 33-year-old said he would be staying with a friend named ‘Steve’ overnight but was unable to offer any further information, other than that the man he claimed to be staying with lived in the Havre des Pas area.

The drugs smuggled by the defendant (24615122)

After being arrested on suspicion of importing drugs, Conord admitted that he had about 50 grams of cocaine and heroin hidden internally. Analysis of the package later showed that Conord had around 26 grams of cocaine – with a street value of £4,200 – and a further 17.7 grams of heroin.

Crown Advocate Conrad Yates, prosecuting, said: ‘It is noted that in the probation report the defendant claimed that he intended to supply the drugs socially to an unnamed friend having first carried them through London via Gatwick.

‘The probation officer questioned the credibility of this account.’

Requesting a 6½-year jail term, Crown Advocate Yates said that while Conord had the benefit of a guilty plea, that plea was inevitable due to the fact the drugs had been found internally. He also added that Conord had a previous conviction for drug importation.

However, Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, said that not enough credit had been given for Conord’s early guilty plea and the fact that he was simply a ‘courier’ who did not stand to gain financially from the importation.

‘In my submission, the starting point in Mr Conord’s case should be lowered to reflect his limited role as a courier in the supply chain,’ she said.

‘Within two hours of his arrest, he told Customs officers that he had a package concealed internally and this co-operation meant they avoided further investigation and tests, for example x-rays, which would have been costly and time-consuming.’

She added that the drugs were to be used socially and that Conord had indeed travelled to Jersey for a family holiday and that a trip to the Island was something he and his wife talked about regularly.

However, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq, presiding, said the court did not believe Conord’s version of events. In delivering the court’s sentence, he said: ‘It has been put to us that we should accept your version of events as you explained it to the probation officer but for the reasons advanced by the Crown, we don’t accept that this is a social supply and, in all the circumstances, we view that explanation as incredible.’

As well as being jailed for 6½ years, Conord was recommended for deportation at the end of his sentence. Jurats Jerry Ramsden, Rozanne Thomas, Jane Ronge, Robert Christensen and Elizabeth Dulake were sitting.

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