Woman carried two bottles of rum to prison inmate

Responsible woman made ‘ridiculous decision,’ attorney says

The defendent passed two small bottles of Appleton rum and a phone charger to the prisoner she was visiting at Northward Prison. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

A woman who smuggled two small bottles of rum and a phone charger into Northward Prison was sentenced on Monday after Magistrate Valdis Foldats questioned “why on Earth” she would become involved with a man serving a lengthy sentence and then be willing to carry contraband to him in her bra.

Defense attorney John Furniss replied by saying that defendant Gabrielle Myles was a very responsible woman who made “this ridiculous decision.”

That decision was discovered on Sunday, Oct. 9 last year when Myles went to visit her boyfriend, Crown counsel Aaliyah McCarthy said.

The prison officer who was observing the scene via CCTV saw Myles hand something to the prisoner, who then placed it inside his trousers. The prisoner was checked and two 50-milliliter bottles of Appleton rum and the phone charger were found. Myles, who was later arrested at her home, denied the allegation, pointing out that other people were in the visiting room and someone else could have given the items to the inmate.

The inmate admitted receiving the items from Myles.

Ms. McCarthy noted that although alcohol is not an illegal drug, the offense was serious and could not be taken lightly. The magistrate agreed that alcohol is legal elsewhere in the community, but it is an intoxicant and as such becomes a form of currency in prison. He said carrying such contraband to prison was not an impulsive act, not a “spur of the moment” decision. It involved receiving instructions, obtaining the items, deciding how to smuggle them and then carrying them into the prison compound.

Mr. Furniss pointed out that Myles, 33, had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty, had held a responsible job overseas and had four children to care for.

“I just can’t get over why you would do this,” the magistrate told Myles. He referred to a pre-sentence report and noted that there was no previous relationship between Myles and the inmate; it had started when he was already in prison. He said it “boggled the mind” that she had risked losing her family.

With 12 months as his starting point, he said the mitigating factors brought that down to six months. With one-third credit for her guilty plea, the final sentence was four months. The magistrate then suspended this term for two years and placed Myles on probation for one year because he wanted her to attend a rehabilitation program in relationships. He also ordered her to perform 80 hours of community service.

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