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Filipina asylum-seeker jailed nearly 8 years for drug trafficking

27 October 2019

by Vir B. Lumicao

The former helper was sentenced on Oct 25 in the High Court. 
A 37-year-old Filipina former domestic helper has been ordered locked up for seven years and eight months by a High Court judge after pleading guilty to a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs.

Josephine Felizardo showed no emotion as Judge Poon Siu-tung read out his sentence on her on Friday, Oct. 25.

Felizardo a mother of four who was on recognizance, appeared in court with Charlotte Marie Borrill, a British-Indonesian woman aged 20, on related charges.
Felizardo was charged with drug trafficking following her arrest in a police search on a residential unit at 119 Shanghai St in Yaumatei on Apr 28 last year.

Borrill, as the registered occupant of the flat, was also arrested and charged for allowing the premises to be used for drug trafficking.

Both pleaded guilty to the charges on separate occasions, but their cases were consolidated when they were transferred to the High Court, the prosecutor said.

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Felizardo was arrested at about noon on Apr 28 last year when police armed with a search warrant entered the flat and saw her sit on a bed and put her right hand on a bag which was found to contain 23.09 grams of “ice”, 27.9g of cocaine and 18g of ketamine.

Some 23 grams of "ice" similar to this heap was seized from Felizardo.
The police also found two bottles with traces of drugs and $80,400 cash in a handbag belonging to Felizardo.

Felizardo told the officers Borrill owned the flat and she was just there for the night. She said she did not know two other people seen visiting the unit before the raid.

Borrill told the police her father owned the flat and that he let her stay there for the three months before the raid. She said she knew the two bottles had traces of drugs but that she was not aware narcotics were being trafficked in the unit.

The prosecution said Felizardo was convicted in December 2015 for breach of condition of stay for which she was sentenced to a six-week jail term suspended for three years. She later applied for recognizance.

Her trafficking offense took place while she was on suspended sentence.                                                
In mitigation, the defense lawyer said Felizardo came here to work as a domestic helper in 2014 but was terminated in 2015. She overstayed, was arrested and convicted. She has a husband in the Philippines and four children who are all studying.

Judge Poon gave Felizardo a discount for her guilty plea, and ordered that her six-week sentence for breach of condition to be served concurrently with that for drug trafficking.

At the recommendation of Borrill’s lawyer Kamlesh Sadhawni, the judge postponed the sentencing of Borrill until Nov 1 pending her sentencing on a separate charge of drug possession.

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