Mum tried to pass prescription drug, tobacco to prisoner

A MUM-OF-FIVE has narrowly escaped jail time after being caught trying to pass prescription drugs to a prisoner at Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Patricia Jane McMaster, 51, pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to supplying the drug and tobacco to her partner on May 17 this year.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge said staff at the correctional centre found buprenorphine in a small balloon in her pocket.

Buprenorphine is used as a replacement for heroin in treatment of addiction.

Ms Hedge said McMaster also had a balloon filled with a small amount of tobacco.

Ms Hedge said when questioned, McMaster was upfront about the drugs to prison officers.

"She said she had no idea how she was going to hand them over," she said.

Ms Hedge said the drugs had been mailed to McMaster by express post after she received a phone call asking her to carry the drugs.

McMaster received $100 into her TAB account and was told she would receive more once the drugs were successfully in the prison.

The court heard McMaster had believed giving the drugs to her partner would "help him out" while in prison.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge said McMaster was remorseful for her actions.

"She said it was the most stupid thing she had ever done," he said.

Mr Rutledge said McMaster was not concerned about the money but thought by handing over the drugs she would help secure an easier time for her partner while he was in prison.

Judge Michael Noud sentenced McMaster to nine months prison, which he wholly suspended for two years.



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