Behind bars: Co-Shae Bartrum, 20, of Pembroke, is escorted to court today. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Behind bars: Co-Shae Bartrum, 20, of Pembroke, is escorted to court today. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
TUESDAY, MAR. 29: A 20-year-old woman has been jailed for 13 years for smuggling more than $650,000 of heroin into Bermuda.

Co-Shae Bartrum carried a condom containing the drug hidden inside her body on a flight from London on May 23 last year.

She pleaded guilty in January on the day her trial was due to start but denied possessing the drugs with intent to supply.

Sorry

Before sentencing, Bartrum, of Pembroke, asked Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons for “half a chance” to better herself.

She added: “I’m sorry to the courts for wasting their time and to my parents for bringing this bad influence on them.

“I hope you can give me a half a chance... so I can prove to you and Bermuda that I can turn my life around.”

Bartrum was arrested at L.F. Wade International Airport after Customs officers saw her acting suspiciously. Officers took her to a private search room once she cleared immigration and she was asked to remove items of clothing.

Crown Counsel Nicole Smith told Supreme Court that Bartrum claimed to the officers she was having her period.

Ms Smith said: “When her clothing was removed, a sanitary fell down and a package in a condom fell from her.”

Bartrum was arrested and told police she thought the drug was cocaine. The heroin was valued at $657,600.

Ms Smith said: “She said she bought it in London for £1,200. She travelled with her boyfriend and said he was unaware of what she had done.

“She said she took £1,400 with her and was going to distribute it in Bermuda wholesale to whomever she saw.”

Substantial

Ms Smith said that during interviews, Bartrum maintained she acted alone.

She added: “The Crown suggests it is more likely that she was covering for someone else.

“It is submitted that the defendant was party of an arrangement to import a substantial amount of heroin.”

Charles Richardson, Bartrum’s lawyer, said she had a rough childhood and had lived in nine different homes before she was a teenager.

He added: “This young woman has pleaded guilty to one count of importing heroin, which I acknowledge is one of the most destructive drugs of the controlled drugs.

“Unfortunately, sentencing of these types of cases is reduced to almost a mathematical exercise based on weights, street values and the like.”

While sentencing, Justice Simmons said: “You have pleaded guilty to a very serious drug trafficking offence — importation of a substantive amount of heroin.

‘The court must consider the prevalence of drug importation. To that may be added the increased incidents of young women importing drugs.”

The judge sentenced Bartrum to 13 years in prison.

Time already spent in custody will be taken into consideration.