Mother follows husband to jail over drugs
A mother-of-four from Nuu-fou and Toamua has followed her husband to jail after being sentenced to three-and-a-half-years for drug dealing.
Christina Schuster, 42, was given the jail term on Friday, after a hearing that took place a year ago found her guilty of possession of marijuana at their Nuu-fou home.
A Police raid in 2018 at the family home found 81 branches of marijuana, 320 plastic bags of loose marijuana leaves and cigarettes.
Her husband is currently serving three years and six months for a similar offence.
In 2018, the husband pleaded guilty to all charges and denied his wife had anything to do with it.
But the presiding Judge, Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, said Mrs. Schuster conducted a commercially operated drug trade with her husband and in the presence of their children.
“He [Christina’s husband] was the ringleader so to speak of this operation,” he said.
“You however nevertheless played an active part in the marijuana operation and knowingly did so from your home while your children were present.
“The amount of marijuana was significant and it was found in garbage bags full in your home.”
The Supreme Court Judge said the mother should not have been involved in the drug trade nor exposed her children to it.
He said that despite the evidence before the Court and the substantial amount of marijuana found, the mother continues to deny her offending and “plead ignorance to the marijuana in [her] home”.
After considering the personal circumstances of the woman and her plea for mercy, Justice Leiataualesa handed down a sentence of three years and six months.
He added that jail time for the mother of four was to serve as a deterrent to her and others involved in the sale of the drugs.
The mother has previous convictions for theft as a servant in 2012, a case in which a non-custodial sentence was imposed. Her youngest child is 11 years old.
Lawyer Treena Atoa was the defence lawyer while Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Fuifui Ioane, was the prosecutor.