Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Childcare worker admits importing P from South Africa

A childcare worker has admitted importing P into New Zealand from South Africa.

Haley Carol Jacobs, 37, can be named for the first time today after pleading guilty to a representative charge of importing methamphetamine.

She was caught when Customs intercepted a package from her South Africa homeland at the International Mail Centre in Auckland on July 24 which contained 8 grams of the class A drug.

The drugs were wrapped in four small plastic bags inside a CD case and had been sent from a Cape Town address.

After Customs officers searched her Richmond home in Christchurch a week later, they found drug paraphernalia, including three glass meth pipes, and eight empty point bags containing methamphetamine residue.

It was then found that she had imported small amounts of the dangerous drug on several occasions from January last year until her actions were uncovered.

She told Customs that she had arranged through a friend known only as 'King' to have the drugs sent to her in Taranaki and Christchurch, with the amounts of meth varying between 2 and 4 grams.

Today at Christchurch District Court she admitted the representative charge, after Crown prosecutor Kathy Basire, appearing for Customs, withdrew an earlier charge.

Jacobs is married with a teenage son, and works at an early childhood learning centre for pre-school children in Christchurch which cannot be named for legal reasons.

She will be sentenced on November 20.

Judge David Holderness called for a pre-sentence report as well as a report which will assess her suitability to complete a sentence of home detention.

Jacobs refused to comment outside court.

The early learning centre in Christchurch confirmed that she had resigned shortly after her arrest from her job, which she'd held for about a month.

A spokeswoman said they were shocked by the "nightmare" revelations and had moved to reassure parents that their kids were never in any harm.

The centre has also taken public health advice, and been informed that no children would have been exposed to any adverse effects from being close to a suspected methamphetamine user.

Jacobs had undergone a police check before she was hired.

"She was very new to us, but we had no idea. It was a total shock,'' said the centre's spokeswoman.

"We had one or two parents talk to us about it and reassured them ... but now that she's lost name suppression, we'll be in a position to talk to parents and reassure them over the safety of their kids.''


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