Nun Arrested After Cocaine Found In The Soles Of Her Shoes
A nun from America has been arrested after trying to smuggle two pounds of cocaine into Australia secreted in the sole of her high-heeled shoes.
Denise Marie Woodrum, a 51-year-old nun from Missouri, claims that she was tricked into carrying the drugs into the country by a man that she met online.
She was trying to get herself through customs at Sydney Airport when security officers discovered the cocaine hidden in her shoes last August.
Her lawyer has argued to the court that she was merely a pawn in a game being played by a man that she had met online who goes by the name Hendrik Cornelius.
The lawyer, Rebecca Neil, told District Court Judge Penelope Wass that the drugs were meant for him.
She said: "She was groomed to provide a financial gain for this person, Hendrik Cornelius, whatever person or persons it was behind this identity.
"She went on this trip thinking she was bringing artifacts for him."
Woodrum has suffered with major health problems in recent times, this has led to her being in a significant amount of debt. She was also in a marriage that failed, the court heard.
The sister, who belongs to the Order of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, which is based in Kansas, thought that she had finally met Mr Right on the internet.
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She never met the man in real life, but she had shared hundreds of text messages and online messages with whoever was behind the alias.
These messages said things like: "Can you promise you will never leave me?" and "You are my Only and First True Family!!!"
Woodrum pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, but it is not clear how much she actually knew about what she was transporting, and her lawyer has claimed that she is a 'vulnerable' woman, who was taken in by a trickster.
However, the judge said that she found Woodrum's account to be 'inconsistent and unbelievable', adding: "I am less than convinced by her explanation."
The prosecution has urged the judge to rule that Woodrum must have known what she was bringing into the country.
At border control, she said that the shoes she was bringing were a present for her mum, and that she was there to see the bridge.
However, texts and accounts vary across several examinations, and she also told others that the was given the shoes in South America to bring to people there.
She is to be sentenced next month.
Featured Image Credit: Australian Border Force
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