Community service for taking drugs to inmate

PRISON officers caught a visitor passing drugs to an inmate who had been involved in a plot to smuggle £300,000-worth of cannabis into Jersey, the Magistrate’s Court has heard.

La Moye Prison. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30380691)
La Moye Prison. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30380691)

Ionut Beldiman (33) was visiting a man at La Moye on 11 July last year when the pair were caught on CCTV behaving suspiciously.

Advocate Katie Ridley, prosecuting, told the court that Beldiman was seen to put a piece of paper on the table which the inmate then collected. Prison officers later searched the prisoner and found a white piece of paper wrapped in clingfilm in his mouth.

Analysis of the paper – weighing 64mg – found it to contain a class B synthetic cannabinoid and a search of Beldiman’s flat unearthed six additional pieces of folded paper weighing 18.4g.

Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, urged the court to deal with her client by way of community service, saying he was ‘sucked into the situation’ and was extremely remorseful.

She added that Beldiman knew the paper was something illegal because the inmate was so keen for him to bring it to the prison, even though her client was not sure what it was.

Advocate Pinel said her client had been in Jersey for five years and had worked in the hospitality industry until lockdown when he began volunteering within the community.

During sentencing, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris said: ‘You clearly did not know what it was.

‘It could have been a class-A drug and you would have found yourself in a very different position. Even with small amounts, you could face prison.

‘You have no previous convictions, you entered a guilty plea on your first appearance and, for that reason, today I am not going to send you to prison but you have to understand that there was a clear risk of that happening.’

He ordered Beldiman to complete 120 hours of community service and fined him £400.

‘You can only be a first offender once. Think very carefully,’ Mr Harris added.

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