Pregnant stripper might raise baby in jail
PRISON authorities might have to re-open a mothballed section of Holtze Prison to accommodate a pregnant stripper who is due to give birth behind bars, a court has heard.
Sinsations stripper Kiara Jo-Elle Serci, 25, has been on remand at Holtze since January, when she was charged with involvement in a methamphetamine syndicate.
Serci, now six months pregnant, applied for bail in Darwin Local Court on Tuesday, where her lawyer, Matt Hubber, said a letter from the Territory Ombudsman said the mothers and children program had been cancelled for operational reasons.
Mr Hubber said it was "outrageous" that his client's baby might be taken away from her if the facility wasn't reopened.
He said jail conditions were sub-par and Serci thought her health was deteriorating.
Under Territory law, pregnant prisoners must be taken to a health care facility to give birth unless it is impractical to do so, and the Corrections Commissioner can allow a child to live with its mother in jail, so long as it is in the child's best interests, doesn't present a security risk and there is suitable accommodation for the child.
Crown Prosecutor Collette Dixon opposed bail, saying prison staff had told her Serci would be transferred into the mothers-only section of Holtze, a special facility within the women's section of the prison.
Ms Dixon said the prosecution case was that Serci was "far more" than a courier, although Mr Hubber said it was "quite ridiculous" to describe his client as a principle of the syndicate.
Ms Dixon said Serci's former Sinsations colleague Holly Attard had given a statement detailing Serci's role in the syndicate.
Attard was in April sentenced to three years and four months jail, suspended after a year served, for her role as a courier in the syndicate.
A third co-accused, Joshua Cozamanis - who Mr Hubber said was the principal offender - was extradited from Queensland to Darwin in April.
The prosecution case is that Cozamanis travelled with Attard on a drug run to Adelaide under a false name, "Wayne Kerr", with Attard carrying 328g of the drug in her handbag, wrapped in a purple corset.
Judge Alan Woodcock said the mothers' section might be closed because there were no women with children at Holtze.
He will decide Serci's bail on Friday after inquiries on whether the mothers' section would be reopened when Serci gives birth.