Community work for drugs

CAUGHT with heroin, and twice with cannabis that Meredith Donaldson said she was only holding for a boyfriend, the Avalon community resident has been ordered to do 175 hours of unpaid community work.

Donaldson, 38, pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court to possession of one gram of heroin found in four small plastic bags at Nimbin on April 16; and possession of cannabis leaf police found on her the same day near a toilet block in Nimbin.

She also pleaded guilty to possession of two grams of cannabis on September 11 at Nimbin while facing the earlier charges. She was fined $300 on that offence

Defence barrister Peter O'Connor had argued for leniency in sentencing, seeking a bond for his client after a report found she was suitable to carry out a community service order.

Magistrate Michael Dakin said he was 'troubled' over why the heroin was found in four bags, with Mr O'Connor replying Donaldson had no intention to supply the substance, was only a user of the drug and in that situation 'one takes what you get as it comes'.

Mr O'Connor emphasised it was for her personal use only.

He briefly touched on his client's very difficult childhood issues and long-term drug problem and said she was now making a big effort through the Magistrate's Early Referral Into Treatment Program (MERIT) to deal with her drug issues and had received a very positive report.

Mr O'Connor said the cannabis was not hers and she had been given something for her partner in what were very complex issues.

“She does not use cannabis, but twice has cannabis in her possession?” Mr Dakin queried.

“It is so,” replied Mr O'Connor.



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