10 August 2006

Birthday 'gift' ruins couple's New Zealand dream

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A British couple's dreams of a new life New Zealand are over after the woman received cocaine in the post as a 'birthday present'.

The New Zealand Herald reports how Lynsey Claire Reader, originally from Croydon in south London, is now serving a three-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to importing the class A drug.

Reader and her partner arrived in New Zealand on two year work visas and had planned to put down roots in the country by seeking permanent residency as skilled migrants.

She now faces being deported when her sentence is served and her visa revoked by New Zealand Immigration; a black mark that will most likely prevent her from being able to emigrate anywhere outside of the United Kingdom.

The High Court in Wellington heard how officials had intercepted two envelopes containing 0.7g of cocaine and found a text message on Reader's phone informing her the drug would be arriving soon.

Justice Chisholm told her: "You asked a friend in Britain to send some cocaine to you for your birthday. I doubt it takes me to remind you how foolish that was.

"Like others who have offended in the same way, you have badly underrated the border control in this country and the determination to keep drugs out."

Reader's case acts as a strong warning to would-be immigrants of the consequences of breaking the law in New Zealand.

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