College student caught smuggling Ecstasy into Parklife avoids jail

College student, 19, caught smuggling 50 Ecstasy pills into Parklife music festival in Kinder Egg avoids jail after judge says she is ‘a good person at heart’

  • Lily Bond, 19, found her in possession of Ecstasy as she tried to get into Parklife 
  • College student claimed 50 tablets were to be shared amongst 22 of her friends
  • She was charged with possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply by police
  • Was given 12 months jail suspended for 15 months at Manchester Crown Court 

A 19-year-old who found herself facing up to 16 years in jail after she was caught smuggling Ecstasy tablets into a music festival has avoided jail after a judge ruled she was ‘naive’ and ‘a good person at heart.’

College student Lily Bond, from Westhoughton, near Bolton, was 18 when a police sniffer dog found her in possession of 50 pills hidden inside a yellow Kinder Egg container as she tried to get into the Parklife music festival in Manchester in 2019.

Bond, who has ambitions to become a social worker and who had never previously been in trouble with police, claimed the tablets were to be shared amongst 22 of her friends once she got into the festival.

She also said she had been ‘cajoled’ into carrying them and insisted she had no intention of selling any of them.

College student Lily Bond (pictured outside Manchester Crown Court), 19, from Westhoughton, near Bolton, avoided jail after a judge ruled she was ‘naive’ and ‘a good person at heart’

But Bond of was charged with possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply which can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

At Manchester Crown Court, she admitted the offence but was given 12 months jail suspended for 15 months after prosecutors accepted she was not planning to make any financial gain out of the tablets.

Sentencing, the judge Mr Recorder Michael Blakey referred to the suspected drug deaths of four teenagers in Newcastle last weekend – two of whom were 18-year-old freshers at the city’s university – to warn Bond of the dangers of Ecstasy.

‘I have read three references about you and they are extremely moving and supportive’ said the judge as Bond’s mother wept in the public gallery.

‘Let me reassure you and tell you I am not sending you to prison immediately today.

‘You have been very, very, naive and stupid. There is a prevalence of drugs at music festivals and they are dished our like sweets by young people who think they cause no significant harm.

‘But over the weekend four young people died in Newcastle from taking drugs. Some young people have no idea what is inside those tablets and poison each other.

‘Drugs lead to death and crime because people steal and commit acts of violence in order to sell them. If you have any sense you will not go anywhere near drugs again. It seems to me you are a good person at heart.’

Earlier prosecutor Hunter Gray told the hearing: ‘The defendant is 19 and was 18 at the time of this offence.

‘On 8 June last year she attended Parklife Festival and when she was in the queue at around midday she was spoken to by a member of security, who said a sniffer dog had indicated she had drugs on her.

‘She was spoken to and directed to a search tent nearby. She appeared nervous. When asked if she had drugs she put her hand in her trousers and she produced a kinder egg skull container with a condom wrapped around it. 50 blue MDMA pills and 0.5g powder MDMA were found inside. 

Bond (left and right) was 18 when she was found in possession of 50 Ecstasy pills hidden inside a yellow Kinder Egg container as she tried to get into music festival Parklife

The music festival at Manchester’s Heaton Park was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic

‘She was arrested and interviewed. During the interview she said the items were for sharing among 22 of her friends at the festival. 

‘A report on her says she was cajoled into carrying the drugs for them. There is no indication she intended to make a profit from sale.

‘She has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty before magistrates. The prosecution ask for forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.’

Bond was also ordered to pay £200 costs and complete 50 hours unpaid work but will not face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

In mitigation defence lawyer Adrian Palmer said: ‘She has had to take time away from college and this has been very difficult for a young woman who would not have expected to see a criminal court.

‘Her mother has been a rock and a report on her says she has learnt from this mistake. 

‘She had hopes for the future as a social worker and there still are hopes for the future. She presents a low risk of further offending or serious harm to the public. Perhaps she was the most gullible of the people she was with and that is a life lesson for her.’

Drug dealers caught selling Class A drugs including Ecstasy can face a maximum life sentence whilst sentencing guidelines for the offence of possessing the drug with intent to supply can range from a community order to 16 years imprisonment.  

Parklife was born in 2010 under the name Mad Ferret Festival and was held at Platt Fields Park in Rusholme before it was moved to Manchester’s Heaton Park in 2013.

Earlier this year, festival organisers confirmed the two-day festival had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.    

In 2019, five people were hospitalised after taking high-strength ecstasy pills at the Manchester festival.

The ‘branded’ pills were believed to have contained between 250 to 300mg of MDMA – three times the amount of active ingredient found in normal ecstasy pills. 

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