Krystle Hill bailed on smuggling charges
RAW VISION: Alleged drug mule Krystle Hill is bailed on charges she conspired to import pseudoephedrine from Thailand.PT0M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bq9d 620 349 December 21, 2012
SHE spends six months of the year in the south of France and claims to ''live and work with beautiful energies'' but the make-up artist Krystle Hill walked out of a holding cell on Thursday with a less glamorous tag - alleged drug mule.
Ms Hill was bailed on charges she conspired with her customs officer boyfriend, Paul Adrian Lamella, to import a commercial quantity of a border control precursor, pseudoephedrine. She was arrested in Adelaide on Tuesday and extradited to Sydney on Wednesday.
In a bizarre twist, by her side as she was whisked from Central Local Court cells on Thursday was a man many would consider detrimental to her image - the colourful Sydney identity ''Big Jim'' Byrnes.
Happy trio … Krystle Hill, left, the unnamed friend who posted her bail and ''Big Jim'' Byrnes, whose attempt to stand surety was knocked back. Photo: Marco Del Grande
Despite his long history of dalliances with law enforcement, he tried to be her knight in shining armour - unfortunately his criminal history meant he could not be deemed an ''acceptable person'' to deposit $20,000 to ensure her freedom.
Police allege that, between May and June 2009, Ms Hill was asked by Mr Lamella to travel to Thailand with an accomplice and return with 10 kilograms of pseudoephedrine between them.
Police documents allege Mr Lamella told the women their return to Australia would be unimpeded because ''they wouldn't be searched as he was working as a customs officer that day.''
He allegedly gave them strict instructions ''not to get too dressed up'' as they would draw ''too much attention''. They returned on Thai Airways flight TG993 on June 19, 2009.
Mr Lamella allegedly offered a fellow customs worker, Paul Katralis, vials of human growth hormone worth up to $1800 and $5000 cash to help facilitate their safe passage through customs, although he was unable to assist as he was moved to other duties that day.
In any event, the women were not searched but police allege their passenger cards were destroyed or otherwise not handed to immigration authorities.
Ms Hills's barrister, Wayne Baffsky, argued that the case against his client was not strong, and ultimately the magistrate agreed.
When Mr Byrnes offered to deposit the $20,000 surety required for bail, the Crown objected and a woman paid the money.
Never known for shyness, Mr Byrnes attended the court to personally offer his support to Ms Hill, anyway, the pair having met recently.
The case was adjourned to February 27. Ms Hill has been ordered to report to Rose Bay police twice a day.