Stripper gets two years jail over meth syndicate
A SINSATIONS stripper who had a baby while in custody will be jailed for two years for her involvement in a meth syndicate, after her barrister slammed the Department of Public Prosecutions as "dysfunctional" for making a last minute bid to have her imprisoned for up to ten years.
Kiara Jo-Elle Serci, 26, and her co-accused Joshua Cozamanis, 33, appeared in Darwin Supreme Court on Thursday after they each pleaded guilty to being involved in the trafficking of over 300g of meth from Adelaide to Darwin in October last year.
Cozamanis also pleaded guilty to travelling on a Jetstar flight between the two cities under the false name 'Wayne Kerr.'
Crown Prosecutor Tami Grealy told the court both Serci and Cozamanis should have a starting sentence of between seven and 10 years for their offences, dramatically reducing the likelihood of them receiving a partially suspended sentence.
The Crown prosecutor in previous court appearances, Colette Dixon, had said she supported a partially-suspended sentence for their involvement.
The third co-accused, Holly Attard, was sentenced earlier this year to three years and four months in prison, suspended after one year.
Serci's lawyer John Lawrence SC slammed the prosecution, calling their change of submission "radical".
"To turn up now and tell us 'guess what? Her submission on penalty is different and it's significantly different and it's significantly more punitive.' How am I supposed to deal with that now?" he said.
Mr Lawrence said that if Serci was to receive a sentence with a non-parole period, her three-month old daughter - who was born while Serci was in custody - would be taken from her.
"I'm not being critical of the Crown prosecutor in any way, shape or form. But, what I am being critical of is the decision made by an office that's completely dysfunctional."
"I have a duty to make these observations to judicial officers that the whole system of justice is being significantly compromised by the actions of a dysfunctional office."
Justice Anthony Graham sentenced both Serci and Cozamanis to a five-year sentence suspended after two years, saying he chose to impose a more lenient sentence because of Serci's young child. Cozamanis was also fined $500.
"It seems to be there's strong evidence of a real chance of rehabilitation, particularly as a consequence of the young woman having a baby," Justice Graham said.