Woman caught with 30 kilos of cannabis at Manchester Airport avoids jail

Monique Zollner
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

A woman who was caught with 30 kilos of cannabis at Manchester Airport has avoided jail.

Monique Zollner, 21, was stopped by the authorities after flying into the city via Frankfurt from Canada.

She later told officers that she had fallen into debt with her mum and took the job on through an associate to get the funds to repay her.

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However, a judge found that due to the fact she had suffered from two ‘major and traumatic’ incidents in her life, which were not disclosed in open court, she could suspend a prison sentence.

Manchester Crown Court heard that on April 13 this year, Zollner was stopped at Manchester Airport with a large amount of the class B drug. She has since pleaded guilty to being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of cannabis.

Mitigating, Adam Roxborough said his client had been ‘self-medicating’ with nitrous oxide following a number of significant life events.

“She was not the organiser of this enterprise,” he said.

“She knows this offence well passes the custodial threshold, but there is a concern if she is sent to immediate custody. She is taking steps to address her addictions.

Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square -Credit:ABNM Photography
Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square -Credit:ABNM Photography

“She is an individual who was taken advantage of and she has had a difficult life.”

He argued that the judge could suspend an inevitable prison term, stating it was an ‘exceptional case’ and his client had stayed trouble free since the offending.

Sentencing Zollner, who wept throughout, Judge Sarah Johnston said she was a ‘vulnerable, young woman’ who had suffered a great deal following two incidents in her life which she described as ‘major and traumatic’.

“You have suffered a great deal, your physical and mental health suffered and you self medicated,” she said,

“So much of the harm these courts see is from the illegal trading of drugs. You were carrying 30 kilograms of cannabis - without your role the offence would not have been committed.”

Handing her a suspended sentence, she said that Zollner did not present a risk to the public and had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

Zollner, of Congleton Avenue, Fallowfield, was handed an 18 month jail term which was suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to complete 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirements, 60 hours of unpaid work and a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement.