AN IRISH man has been handed a suspended 10-month jail sentence for smuggling drugs into an Irish prison inside a Kinder egg inserted into his rectum.
Aaron McCusker (25), who is originally from Derry City but now lives at Windlesham Gardens in Brighton, had his sentence suspended for two years at Derry’s Crown Court.
McCusker was nearing the end of a six-month jail sentence for other drugs offences when he was caught with four types of Class A, B and C drugs inside his bum.
He served the remainder of his sentence in solitary confinement.
A Public Prosecution Service barrister told Judge Philip Babington that on February 25, 2015, McCusker returned to Magilligan Prison in Co. Derry following a weekend release.
He was seen by prison officers throwing a yellow object behind a traffic sign outside the prison gates, later identified as a Kinder egg capsule, inside which prison officers found drugs.
McCusker was then placed into a clean cell and the following day prison officers recovered a second Kinder egg capsule.
The two eggs contained quantities of the drugs fentanyl, diazepam, cannabis and buprenorphine.
The prosecutor said the police were alerted at the time, but the prison governor refused to allow them to arrest and interview McCusker because he was still a serving prisoner.
One month later after he'd completed his sentence, McCusker went to Brighton to live with his uncle, a school teacher, to enable him to escape from the drugs scene in Derry.
'Could not fit the second one in'
However McCusker was arrested by police at Belfast International Airport on April 28 of last year when he returned to visit his grandmother.
He was taken to Strand Road Police Station where he made full admissions to 12 separate drugs charges related to the discovery of the drugs inside and outside Magilligan Prison.
"He told the police he had inserted one of the Kinder eggs into his rectum but that because he could not fit the second one in, he decided to throw it away when he arrived at Magilligan Prison. He also said he was under the influence of diazepam at the time," the barrister said.
Defence barrister Dean Mooney said McCusker's life had undergone a "stark transformation and a sea change" since his prison release.
He said when awaiting sentencing for a previous drugs offence in October 2014, McCusker was rescued from the River Foyle by members of the Foyle Search And Rescue.
He said McCusker, with the help of his uncle, managed to obtain a full-time job shortly after he arrived in Brighton where he worked for an electrical supplier who was impressed by McCusker's work ethic.
The barrister said since moving to Brighton, McCusker had complied with all of the instructions given to him by local probation officers.
Mr Mooney added that the drugs recovered in the two Kinder eggs were for McCusker's personal use and he had no intention of supplying them to other prisoners.
Judge Babington told McCusker – who had 11 previous criminal convictions, seven for drugs offences – that his uncle had offered him a life line.
Judge Babington said drugs in the prison system were a constant problem and that McCusker, by his offending, had passed the custody threshold.
"This court has a responsibility to the community and while sentencing guidelines for cases of this nature suggest an immediate custodial sentence, they are guidelines and not tramlines.
“I am willing to take a chance by suspending the sentence in order to enable you to continue to improve your lifestyle," he told McCusker.