John Francis McCarthy (47) admitted importing the drugs, which were concealed internally, at the Airport on 1 February.His lawyer said that he owed £5,000 to a group of London criminals after his business failed, and that they had threatened him and his sister if he did not go through with the importation.McCarthy also admitted the importation of two ecstasy tablets, which he said belonged to him.Prosecuting, Crown Advocate David Le Cornu said that over 100g of diamorphine – which he said was commonly known as heroin – had been recovered from a search of the defendant and his luggage.
He said that McCarthy had initially given a false name that was on his ticket to Customs officers, and only came clean at the last minute.Advocate Le Cornu said McCarthy had travelled to Jersey two weeks previously to see the customs arrangements for himself.
He said the plan to smuggle heroin with a street value of up to £47,401 was a serious one, and referred to the defendant’s poor criminal record which included two counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
The prosecution moved for a nine-year sentence.Defending, Advocate Jane Grace said her client had been hiding from the people to whom he owed money, and that he had been beaten up by them.
She also referred to his criminal record, saying that it made it impossible for him to go to the police.Her client, she said, was determined to make the most of his time in prison.
He planned to do GCSE and A-level courses, said Advocate Grace, and join a programme to speak to schoolchildren about the reality of what a life of crime meant.The Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt, imposed the prosecution’s suggested sentence of nine years, and told McCarthy that had the drugs reached the streets they would have caused misery and degradation to young people in Jersey.He was sitting with Jurats de Veulle, Rumfitt, Tibbo, Georgelin, Allo and Clapham.