The former boss of Aurigny has been given community service for the attempted importation of cannabis.
Malcolm Hart, 60, admitted to having 3.68 grams of the Class B drug concealed internally when returning from a trip to the UK.
Hart had spent four weeks in the UK, visiting friends, culminating in a trip to see his mother, who passed away while he was there.
He returned to Guernsey on 11 January this year from Southampton. On arrival, Border Agents asked to search his bag and subsequently found an empty plastic bag.
It was swabbed and found to contain traces of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis. Initially he said he’d smoked while in the UK, before eventually admitting to having a small quantity of cannabis concealed internally.
Pictured: Hart admitted to the concealment after being stopped at Guernsey Airport.
Hart was searched and 3.68 grams of cannabis was found. He was transferred to the hospital where an x-ray was taken, revealing no further concealed packages.
He was arrested on 15 January and pleaded guilty to the offence on 10 June.
During interview, Hart said he’d bought the cannabis from a friend for £30 and was unsure how much there was left.
Defence Advocate Sam Steel gave an impassioned apology on behalf of Hart, arguing that he was intending to use the drug to help him sleep, and to distract from the grief of losing his mother.
“The internal concealment of cannabis is something we treat as an aggravating factor,” said the Bailiff, Richard McMahon, who presided over the hearing.
“Taking this step of concealment showed to us that you knew what you were doing was wrong,” he said.
Pictured: Hart appeared in Guernsey's Royal Court for sentencing yesterday.
Mr McMahon cited Hart’s service to the island as substantial mitigation, helping him avoid prison time, despite the Richards Guidelines indicating a three-year sentence as a starting point for the amount Hart had imported.
Hart left Aurigny in 2013 and has since worked as a director for several firms in Guernsey. The arrest also led to Hart leaving his role within the Child Youth and Community Tribunal.
“If people gave out prizes for stupidity, you’d be front of the queue,” said Mr McMahon, outlining Hart’s “spectacular fall from grace.”
Hart was sentenced to 180 hours community service as a direct alternative to 12 months in prison.
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