'really paranoid' | 

Woman (27) caught smuggling 52% pure heroin in deodorant tin avoids jail

Kristini Ponisi almost talked herself into an extra stay in prison

Kristini Ponisi was sentenced for heroin smuggling

Paul HigginsSunday World

This is the heroin smuggler who almost talked herself into an extra stay in prison.

Kristini Ponisi was offered the chance of community service and probation that would see her walk free but under strict supervision.

The 27-year-old, who appeared at Newry Crown Court via videolink from jail, told the judge she was worried she may not be able to complete what is officially called an Enchanced Combination Order (ECO).

The reason, she said, was that sometimes she gets “really paranoid”. She was then given a choice between the ECO and further spell in custody, she opted for two years on probation and 80 hours community service.

Ponisi, from from Irwell Court in Belfast, had earlier admitted importing heroin and possession of the class A drug in June 2021.

She was arrested alongside her then boyfriend, fellow heroin addict 40-year-old John Joseph Goodman, from Glenbawn Close in Dunmurry.

Previous courts heard how cops stopped an Audi car on the A1 — Goodman driving and Ponisi his passenger.

A police sniffer dog discovered a specially constructed hide which contained a tin of deodorant and it was inside that, cops uncovered the 52% pure heroin with a street value around £15,000.

Last December Goodman, who had confessed to the same charges, was handed a two-year sentence split half and half between jail and custody.

Sentencing Ponisi on Friday, Judge Kerr said he was taking into account her guilty pleas and previously clear record.

He warned Ponisi that if she breached any aspect of the order, or committed further offences, she would be jailed.

In addition, the judge also ordered forfeiture of £303 in cash which cops had seized.

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