Two-year jail sentence for cannabis importer

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Heroin addict Charles Harriott (38), admitted importing cannabis valued up to £44,000 at the Elizabeth terminal in March.The court heard that the haul had been discovered by customs officers when a green suitcase left on a conveyor belt was found to contain drugs.Harriott, who did not immediately claim his baggage with other passengers, was escorted from the secure seaside area into the terminal where he said that he had lost his suitcase.When asked if the green suitcase belonged to him he said that it did.Crown Advocate Tony Olsen told the court that the cannabis was found to have a street value of up to £44,000.Taking into account his guilty plea and that this was his first drugs offence, Advocate Olsen called for a two and half year sentence.Counsel for Harriott, Advocate Jane Grace said her client had been the victim of a vicious attack two years earlier in which his skull was fractured and he was left deaf – an ordeal which resulted in his heroin addiction.Owing £500 to drug dealers, he had been threatened with violence if he did not bring the cannabis to Jersey to cancel his debt, she said.Sentencing him to two years, the Deputy Bailiff Michael Birt, sitting with Jurats de Veulle and Tibbo, said that this case did have unusual circumstances.Harriott had been severely beaten in the past and his doctor had warned him that any further violence against him could lead to permanent disability.However, Mr Birt emphasised that threats from drugs dealers were not a mitigation as those who owed them debts had only themselves to blame.

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