Mum planned to sell cocaine to buy booze for girls' trip
A SINGLE mum of three who was busted with cocaine within a couple of weeks of moving back to Warwick has claimed she bought the drugs to 'blow off steam' on a girls' trip to Cairns.
At Warwick District Court on Friday, it was heard Ella Joy Duffy realised she didn't have any money for booze so she decided to split the drugs and sell half to make a bit of cash.
Duffy pleaded guilty to one count of supplying and three counts of possessing dangerous drugs, as well as one count of possessing drug utensils.
The court heard the disability support worker was also found with MDMA, drugs she didn't have a prescription for and a glass pipe and green straw.
She narrowly avoided time behind bars.
Crown Prosecutor Chontelle Farnsworth said drugs were known to have a serious impact on users, and given precedence set by other cases, a sentence of nine months' jail with actual time behind bars would be appropriate.
But defence lawyer David Jones instead presented examples of other cases, which showed people who committed similar crimes had not spent time in jail.
"It's certainly the gone are the days where the range is between 9-18months' imprisonment," Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones went on to say Duffy, 30, was genuinely remorseful, had a good work history and was studying nursing.
He said Duffy had been a sporadic recreational drug user and after she bought the cocaine for the girls' trip she decided to cut half the drugs and sell it for drinking money.
"But the supply didn't happen because she didn't go to Cairns," Mr Jones said.
But a text message found on her phone during a police search in May last year alerted cops to her plan to sell the drugs.
Judge Nathan Jarro said Duffy was old enough to realise the seriousness of her actions.
"To take drugs is one thing, to supply to other people is a totally different matter," Mr Jarro said.
"People can die from overdoses, lives are ruined and families are destroyed and communities break down in the process."
Judge Jarro said the offence was towards the lower end of the scale and she would suffer extreme consequences, including losing her job as a disability support worker, because she will have her blue card revoked.
Considering that, and her early plea of guilty and previous good character, Judge Jarro decided to give Duffy probation.
She was ordered to serve two and a half years' probation and convictions were recorded.