Illegal tobacco haul lands woman in court

Illegal tobacco haul lands woman in court

A54-year-old Mount Gambier woman appeared in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court last week in front of Magistrate Koula Kossiavelos charged with two counts of unlawful possession.

The court heard Lesley Grace Cram was caught by police in the Umpherston Sinkhole carpark in possession of $4376 in cash, approximately 3.5kg of tobacco and 8300 cigarettes on June 14, 2023.

Ms Cram was originally charged with money laundering but had the charges reduced by prosecution due to a negotiated guilty plea.

Ms Cram was represented by Adelaide defence lawyer Jane Powell who appeared via phone and said the defendant committed the crimes as a “last minute favour” and was expected to be paid a small profit in exchange for the service.

The defendant has one prior offence for unlawful possession in 2021 which occurred while she was volunteering at a local gift shop where unmarked tobacco was being sold.

Ms Powell said Ms Cram was a “socially isolated individual”.

Ms Powell said the accused was on the street level and had no “day to day dealings” with people working in importation and distribution.

“In this type of offending there would be others involved at a different level and a superior level to her,” she said.

Magistrate Kossiavelos postponed sentencing so she can look into the case further due to the charges being “too serious” and “new territory”.

“It is repeat behaviour by your client, it is not her one and only entrance into the criminal justice system,” Magistrate Kossiavelos.

The matter is set to return to the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court for sentencing on July 1.

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