Busted model out of jail

By Amanda Snow

Aucklander imprisoned for 35 days after cocaine bust returns home.

Kieran Price was a contender for the Bachelor of the Year title in 2010.
Kieran Price was a contender for the Bachelor of the Year title in 2010.

A Kiwi male model has returned home after five weeks in a Japanese jail for trying to run from police who found him with cocaine.

Kieran Price, of Orewa, was arrested during a random search in Tokyo in July. He was carrying 0.2g of the drug.

The 25-year-old, who featured in the 2010 Cleo Bachelor of the Year competition, was reaching celebrity status in Japan after appearing in a TV advertisement for water.

His mother, Amanda Bennett, says the 35 days he spent behind bars was a life-changing experience.

"He certainly regrets putting his family and friends through the stress. That would have been foremost on his mind," she said. "He's a very kind, hard-working young person who enjoys life. He has paid a price and learned a lot from this. He wants to put it behind him and move on."

Bennett says her son is back in New Zealand, returning to a promising landscape and design career and may embark on a university degree next year.

Japanese media quoted police as saying Price threw a plastic bag containing white powder away before trying to flee officers.

Another family member, who asked not to be named, said it was not uncommon for Europeans to be randomly searched by the secret police in Japan and Price stood out, at 1.87m with blond hair.

He said Price received a suspended sentence that took into account time spent in prison. "He received three feeds of rice a day and showered twice a week. He's made an error of judgment but he's had a long time to think about it."

Bennett said her son started modelling after being spotted a couple of years ago.

"He's happy to let that go for a while and to look at his future."

- Herald on Sunday

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