Holly Deane-Johns

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Holly Deane-Johns
Born 1972 (1972)
Western Australia
Criminal penalty
31 years imprisonment (later reduced to 22 years, six months)
Criminal status Released 6 December 2012
Conviction(s) Drug trafficking

Holly Deane-Johns (born 1972) is an Australian woman convicted in Thailand of attempting to post a parcel of 11 grams heroin back to Australia. Further quantities of 15 grams of heroin was found in her Bangkok apartment and another 110 grams in the residence of her companion Robert Halliwell. Originally facing the death penalty, she pleaded guilty in 2003 to heroin trafficking in order to receive a reduced sentence of 31 years.[1] She was released from prison in December 2012.

Under Thai law, traffickers found with more than 100 grams of heroin face a mandatory penalty of death by lethal injection. She was born in Western Australia, where she attended Mount Lawley Senior High School in Perth, becoming a heroin addict at the age of 15.[2] Her mother died from a heroin overdose. Deane-Johns spent six years in Western Australia's Bandyup Women's Prison for a range of drug related offences prior to the Thai conviction.

Background and arrest[edit]

Deane-Johns was arrested by Thai police in August 2000 when she attempted to mail a parcel, later found to contain about 11 grams of heroin at Bangkok Central Post Office in the company of Robert Halliwell. Thai narcotics agents had been monitoring their movements for two months previously.

She had flown to Thailand in early 2000 to reunite with her boyfriend, but after he returned early to Australia spent time with Halliwell, a mutual friend and fellow junkie who had fled to Thailand 20 years earlier to escape drugs charges in Australia.

Prisoner transfer to Australia[edit]

After having spent seven years in incarceration in the Klong Prem Central Prison in Chatuchak, in 2006 Deane-Johns applied to be transferred to a Western Australian jail under a 2002 bilateral prisoner exchange agreement between Australia and Thailand.[2]

On 7 December 2007, Deane-Johns arrived back in Australia where she was transferred to Bandyup Women's Prison. She was released in December 2012, having completed a post-graduate diploma in social work while in prison.[3]


  1. ^ Mark Baker (5 July 2003). "Heroin addicts escape Thai death sentence". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b "A hell away from home". The Age (Melbourne). 9 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  3. ^ Heroin trafficker Holly Deane-Johns freed from Bandyup Prison after 12 years – PerthNow. Published 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.

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