An Italian man who moved to work in Herm to follow a 'whirlwind romance' across the world, quickly found the island was not what he expected it to be, and turned to cannabis to cope.
36-year-old Luca Vault ordered two bags of cannabis online, but one of those two postal packages was seized by Customs Officers at the Post Office, and he was arrested soon after. Now, he has been sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence, and told to not be 'so stupid' ever again.
When those officers went to Herm to arrest Vault on the 6 June, he came clean immediately, telling them he wanted to be as honest as he could. He admitted he already had some cannabis in his accommodation in a coffee tin, and said he had only turned to it because of how 'depressing' living on Herm was. He also commented that he should 'probably move home'.
In total, the two packages contained 19.24g of cannabis, an amount right at the bottom end of the scale the Royal Court deals with.
In giving mitigation, Advocate Sam Steel told the Court how Vault had come to work in Herm because he wanted to be close to his girlfriend's home when she finished working in the South Pacific on a six month placement. They had first met while living in Mozambique, but had to move apart when Vault's visa expired. They then met for a week in Morocco, but had to separate once again when she was offered 'the job of a lifetime'.
Vault then applied for 'any job he could' on Herm, even though he was over qualified for many. When he finally arrived to start working, the job was not what he was expecting however. There was confusion over his salary, and what he would be doing.
Pictured: Guernsey's Royal Court.
Nonetheless, the Court heard how Vault threw himself in to the job, and has been extremely hard working and a benefit to the small island's community. A number of strong references were given for him.
At the same time though the defendant's mental health collapsed, as he refused to see a doctor when his girlfriend offered concerns, and he threw himself into as many work hours as he could. It was at this point he decided to try self medication.
The fact that his postal importation attempt was 'not sophisticated' as he had even gone as far as using his own name reflected well on Vault.
Judge Russell Finch said in this case, the Court had confidence the drugs were going to be solely for personal use, and also offered substantial discounts to the sentences suggested in drug guidelines.
"Speaking personally, don't ever try to be so stupid again," Judge Finch concluded.
In total, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years for the two counts. It was indicated however that he will work the rest of his contract in Herm and then leave the Bailiwick to return home.
Pictured top: a file image of Herm island.
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