Colombian judge's bad news for Cassandra Sainsbury
THE lawyer for accused drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury has revealed the psychological toll her incarceration is taking, as a judge pours cold water on her bid to serve her sentence in Australia if she's found guilty.
Ms Sainsbury's Colombian legal representative, Orlando Herran, told 9 News that she was having a "difficult" time behind bars in El Buen Pastor women's jail in Bogota.
"I can see she's very difficult, she's very affected, psychologically affected," he said.
Mr Herran said Ms Sainsbury keeps saying how "stupid" she was, and is "permanently crying".
The lawyer plans to request that she serve jail time in Australia if she is found guilty of smuggling 5.8 kilograms of cocaine that was allegedly found hidden inside 18 headphone boxes in her suitcase at El Dorado International Airport in Colombia.
However, the judge who initially put Ms Sainsbury in jail says that is unlikely.
"The system is clear. Do the crime in Colombia, do the time in Colombia," judge John Jairo Zambraro told 9 News through an interpreter.
The judge also expressed surprised that someone as young as Ms Sainsbury had been accused of drug smuggling.
"What caught my eye was her age," he said. "She was 22, too young to be caught up in something like this."
Her lawyer also told News Corp Australia she didn't trust the Colombian man, known only as Angelo, when she first met him near the hotel at which she was staying.
"The first day she didn't trust him, the second day a little bit more, the third day she trusted him, because he seemed very friendly," said Mr Herran. "He spoke English and Spanish. He helped with everything, with translation, he showed her around.
"She thought she had made a good friend."
Channel 9 has also aired a recording of Ms Sainsbury's first court appearance in April.
"My name is Cassandra Leigh Sainsbury; I am Australian," the timid-sounding 22-year-old is heard to say on the tape.
"I do not accept the charges filed by the prosecutor."
Ms Sainsbury's fiance Scott Broadbridge appeared before the media yesterday and professed her innocence.
"I have no doubt that Cassie's innocent of these charges and I will support her no matter how long this takes," he said.
"She is concerned about the conditions of the jail, which are not ideal, and it is very difficult for her not knowing anyone in the country.
"I hope to get over there soon and I hope that we are able to prove her innocence.
"Cass is the delight of my life. I know that she is not involved in the drug trade.
"I know that she was not deliberately taking drugs or carrying drugs."
Ms Sainsbury reportedly told her Colombian lawyer that she was tricked and given the headphones by a man she knew only by Angelo or Tom.
The man offered to buy her the headphones for a cheap price and brought them to her at the airport.
- with AAP