WEDNESDAY, MAY 9: More than $40,000 worth of jewellery went missing after a woman was arrested for drugs offences, the Bermuda Sun can reveal.
Now Glennamur Russell is demanding answers from the Bermuda Police Service after her complaints were brushed off by officers.
Ms Russell, 56, said: “I was told the records were lost – that just didn’t make sense to me.”
Among the items taken when Ms Russell was arrested were an expensive wedding ring and engagement ring, a designer watch, a bracelet and an ankle bracelet, as well as $61 in cash.
But she said – when she asked for them back after pleading guilty in court and being sentenced to jail – she was told by prison authorities the jewellery and cash were not among the belongings forwarded to them by police.
Ms Russell said: “I’m really angry about this — I accept I committed an offence. I pleaded guilty and I paid the price. The things taken from me were of great sentimental value, quite apart from the financial value, and I should have got them back.
“I don’t know why there has been no action taken on this. It seems nobody cares.
“When I went to prison and asked for my things back, the prison service said that they had no jewellery, just my clothes and a pair of crutches I was using at the time.
“I would like to get my wedding ring and engagement ring back – but, if they have been stolen or lost, I at least want some kind of explanation or apology.”
The Bermuda Sun has seen copies of the log of Ms Russell’s belongings when she was first arrested on charges of conspiring to import 300g of cocaine into Bermuda, as well as valuations of her property by a jewellers.
Ms Russell, 56, of Pembroke, was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2004 after being caught in an “exchange” with a cruise ship crew member on a surveillance camera in July, 2003.
She also claimed in evidence to the court that she had been assaulted by police after her arrest.
Ms Russell, a former security guard, served five years of her sentence and was released in 2008 – and she has been asking the police for answers about her missing jewellery ever since.
A letter from then-Acting Assistant Commissioner James Howard dating from July 2010 said that he had asked a senior officer to investigate.
He added: “I would also advise you that if you left the custody of the Bermuda Police Service to be incarcerated at the prison facility, the normal process would entail your belongings being transferred to that facility.”
Ms Russell said: “I have been through all the channels to get my stuff back – people have told me to get a lawyer, but that would cost $3000 just to get started and I can’t afford that.
“There is something wrong here and whether my valuables have been stolen or lost, I just want someone to admit that something went badly wrong.”
Commissioner of Corrections Lt Col. Edward Lamb said yesterday: “We are well aware of Ms Russell’s claims and have exhaustively reviewed the documentation relating to her reception into Corrections.
“Our reviewing of Ms Russell’s file has revealed nothing to substantiate that we received the items to which she refers. I have personally met previously with Mrs Russell to explain to her that we could find no record of the items being in her property list when she was received into our custody.
“Just to be sure though, in response to your query of today, I directed that another review of her file be done to ascertain the contents of her property upon her reception.
“That review likewise could not locate any evidence of the Co-ed Facility receiving any of the specific property to which she refers.”
A police spokesman said: “Police take Ms. Russell’s concerns seriously and have made inquiries into the matter.
“We will respond more fully in due course.”