6 Sep 2010

Prison drug ring member sentenced

1:01 pm on 6 September 2010

A woman who assisted a methamphetamine importation ring operating from inside Rimutaka prison, has been sentenced to a prison term of at least four years.

Sara McSweeney, 29, was appearing in the High Court in Wellington on five charges of importing a Class A drug.

McSweeney's former partner met a Thai national while in Rimutaka prison and they organised for methamphatamine to be smuggled into this country from Thailand.

She was one of several contacts outside the prison who arranged payment and collection of the drugs.

Defence lawyer Robert Stevens said her culpability was far less than that of others involved and sought a reduced sentence, as she was a first offender and the offending was out of character.

However, Justice Gendall said methamphetamine is a pernicious, dangerous drug which destroys lives.

He sentenced to prison McSweeney for eight years and ordered that she serve at least half that sentence before parole is considered.