A man who brought more than six kilograms of cannabis to the island has been sentenced to just over three years in prison at the Court of General Gaol Delivery.
Kyle Badley, 38, of Alexander Road, Birkenhead, was jailed by Deemster Graeme Cook after admitting charges of producing cannabis to the island and possession with intent to supply.
The court heard how on April 22 Badley, who has no links to the island, was stopped by police and customs officers, as part of Operation Strongbox, at the Sea Terminal having arrived on that evening’s sailing from Liverpool.
He originally told officers that he was visiting the island to see his girlfriend. However, when a sniffer dog took an interest in his car, a UK-registered Mercedes, officers arrested Badley and seized the vehicle.
A search later found a hidden compartment underneath the driver’s seat, which was released by a micro button.
Inside officers found 26 vacuum-sealed packages containing a total of 6,398g of herbal cannabis with a given street value of £127,098.
Further investigations revealed he had booked the boat and a hotel room using his own name and credit card and he had also only been insured on the car the day of the sailing. He gave ‘no comment’ responses during a police interview.
In a letter to the court, Badley admitted he knew what he was doing but that he was acting under pressure.
Defence advocate Paul Glover said his client was given the car and told to bring it to the island to give it to someone here. While he admitted that there were ‘sophisticated elements’ to Badley’s actions, he disagreed with Deemster Cook’s view that it was a ‘clearly sophisticated offence’.
Mr Glover also submitted a character witness from a solicitor in the UK who said the offences were ‘out of character’ for Badley.
He added that his client is not someone who is high up in organised crime, but that he was in a ‘desperate situation’ and now accepts his actions were ‘foolish and stupid’.
In sentencing Badley, Deemster Cook said he was nothing more than a ‘mule’ for drug gangs and again noted the large amount of cannabis that continues to arrive on Manx shores.
He said the gangs involved in sending people like Badley to the island ‘take advantage’ of people’s circumstances.
Deemster Cook sentenced Badley to three years and two months for the production of cannabis to the island, as well as handing down a two-year concurrent sentence for possession with intent to supply.
Badley will be released from prison at the halfway stage of his sentence, at which point he will be subject to a five-year exclusion order from the island.