IT looks like Sarawakian nurse Beatrice Laus Johie from Kampung Seratau, who last month pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to import a marketable quantity of drugs into Australia, will have to languish further in Melbourne jail before actually being sentenced.
The Magistrates’ Court in Melbourne on Wednesday fixed March 21 for her pre-sentence hearing before the County Court.
That’s 48 days to go! A long time to worry about her fate and wonder when she would be able to return to her children and other family members and friends.
Beatrice is being represented by an Australian lawyer provided by the country’s Legal Aid.
The Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Deer Park where she is being held apparently has quiet areas for reading and writing.
Hopefully Beatrice is using the time wisely to reflect on the choices she has made and use it to read books that will help her to find a way to build a new future when she finally tastes freedom again.
In the meantime, despite sounding like a broken record, let me reiterate: Please Sarawakians, don’t let yourselves be conned or convinced into becoming drug mules.
Beatrice had a good and respectable career as a nurse.
She and the other Sarawakian drug mules caught overseas have lost so much because of poor judgement.
Don’t let this happen to your sisters, cousins, friends, and other relatives or even colleagues and acquaintances.
Warn them of the consequences. Don’t let them throw their lives away.
The Bernama report:
Sarawak nurse to face pre-sentence hearing
MELBOURNE: A Sarawak nurse who has pleaded guilty to attempting to import a “marketable quantity of drugs” into Australia last November will appear before the County Court here for a pre-sentence hearing on March 21.
Beatrice Laus Johie, of Kuching, was found with about 1.5 kg of heroin in her luggage when checked by Australian Customs at the airport here.
The 28-year-old single mother of three had blamed her Nigerian boyfriend for the drugs being in her possession as he had packed her bag after telling her they were off to Australia.
But he backed off at the last minute, saying he had problems with his travel documents and she had no idea she was carrying a prohibitive substance into Melbourne.
Johie has been told there were fingerprints on the package containing the drug, but none belonged to her.
The Magistrate’s Court here on Wednesday fixed March 21 for the pre-sentence hearing.
Legal sources told Bernama that if Johie pleads guilty, the sentence could be lighter.
The Malaysian Consul General here, Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya, has been in regular touch with Johie and the women’s detention centre officers in Deer Park, about 30km west of here.
The repentant nurse has an Australian lawyer provided by Legal Aid but it is believed a lawyer, originally from Malaysia, visited her at the detention centre and tried to sign up as her legal representative.
But she declined his approach. – Bernama