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Briton, J’can boyfriend denied bail in coke case

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2019 | 12:07 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


A British woman and her Jamaican boyfriend who are charged with trying to smuggle five pounds of cocaine disguised in packs of seasoning out of the island were remanded when they appeared in the St James Parish Court on Tuesday.

Vanessa Richardson, a 44-year-old cleaner of a Gloucester, England, address, and Damion Nembhard, a 39-year-old chef of Mandeville, Manchester, are charged with possession of, dealing in, and taking steps to export cocaine.

In applying for bail on Tuesday, Richardson’s attorney, Cadene Colman, told presiding judge Sandria Wong-Small that her client came to Jamaica to visit Nembhard, with whom she had a relationship.

“She came to visit her boyfriend, and she completely denies the allegations and looks forward to her day in court when she expects to be vindicated,” said Colman.


But during Nembhard’s bail application, his attorney, Martyn Thomas, admitted that the accused man had previously been deported from the United Kingdom for several criminal offences, including drug charges.

“He does admit to a number of previous offences in the United Kingdom, ranging from assault to use of Class A and Class C drugs. But he denies the allegations and is willing to abide by the conditions as Your Honour sees fit,” said Thomas.

According to the allegations against Richardson and Nembhard, on May 15, approximately 11 a.m., a security team on narcotics duty at Sangster International Airport carried out a search of a flight destined for Birmingham, England.

A suitcase belonging to Richardson and Nembhard was opened and seven packs of Island Spice jerk seasoning found inside. The packs were opened and found to contain a substance resembling cocaine, following which Richardson and Nembhard were arrested and charged.