Dominatrix with kilo of cocaine in handbag after Caribbean jaunt cleared of drugs smuggling

·2-min read
Simone Smith was accused of smuggling a kilo of cocaine into the UK (ES)
Simone Smith was accused of smuggling a kilo of cocaine into the UK (ES)

A woman who had a kilo of cocaine in her handbag as she flew home from a promotional trip for her work as a dominatrix has been cleared of drugs smuggling.

Simone Smith, 31, was carrying drugs worth an estimated £80,000 when she was stopped by Gatwick Airport border agents as she stepped off a plane from Antigua to the UK.

Smith insisted she did not know about the cocaine until its discovery - under an airline blanket in her handbag - and believed it may have been planted on her before or during the flight.

She was charged with trying to smuggle cocaine into the UK, but a jury acquitted her on Thursday following a Southwark crown court trial – nearly three years since her arrest.

When she was stopped at just after 6am on January 16, 2019, Smith told officers: “I don’t understand, I’ve got nothing to declare, I don’t understand what’s happening to me”.

Smith said she had been drinking before she went to catch her flight home, and had more alcohol during her time in the airport in Antigua.

She had “started to become intoxicated prior to getting on the plane”, the court heard, and an expert said it was possible that the drugs could have been slipped into her handbag without her knowledge.

When she was first questioned about the drugs discovery, Smith claimed she had flown out to Antigua for a simple holiday and said her father had bankrolled the flight home.

But in a later interview, she conceded the money had been raised through sex work and the trip had been organised to help promote herself online.

Prosecutor Tristan Chaize told jurors Smith is a “dominatrix in the sex industry”, and she had been “advised that in order to increase her earning potential, she should obtain photos for her profile of her in a flashy lifestyle, typically at locations like swimming pools.

“She said it was for that reason that she travelled to Antigua.”

Smith, from Leicester, denied being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a class A drug. She was found not guilty following a three-day trial.

Mr Chaize told jurors the investigation into Smith had “taken a very long time”, and she had not been charged until December last year - almost two years after she was first arrested.

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