$40,000 jail drug drop stops with 'no contact' affair
A WOMAN has told an Ipswich court that she felt pressured into sneaking $40,000 worth of drugs into jail for her lover.
The plan involved the prisoner organising to have drugs delivered to Meagan Hinkley's home, so she could later deliver them to the jail at Wacol.
The plan was thrown into disarray, however, when her visit was stipulated as a "no contact" affair.
Meagen Alice Margaret Hinkley, 31, from Corinda, pleaded guilty to the aggravated unlawful supply of dangerous drugs within a correctional facility between May 14 and May 20 at Wacol.
Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said the drug was buprenorphine (or suboxone).
Hinkley had taken 50 strips of the drug and a syringe and needle to the jail.
Mr Wallis said each strip can be sold inside the jail to prisoners for $300-800.
Authorities were alerted to the possible drug exchange after listening in to a phone call involving Hinkley.
Mr Wallis said Hinkley "was never going to succeed".
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said she might have without the intervention at Brisbane Correctional Centre.
Mr Wallis said Hinkley left her handbag containing the drugs in a locker.
Mr Wallis said she was asked to bring in the 50 strips.
"It is very serious. Strikes at the heart of criminal justice, bringing these drugs into a prison is counter-productive," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"It is staggering that prisoners can pay $800 for a slip."
Judge Horneman-Wren said the issue was whether Hinkley left the drugs in the locker when she became aware it would be a no-contact visit, or whether she had a change of heart.
Defence lawyer Scott Neaves said it was unfortunate Crown facts did not provide evidence either way.
"My instructions are that my client (Hinkley) got cold feet," said Mr Neaves.
"She felt a degree of pressure.
"But (the prisoner) certainly did not make threats.
"Whatever choices she made that day would be a problem for her."
Judge Horneman-Wren noted that she committed the offence within six weeks of being given a suspended jail sentence.
"These arrangements are reasonably sophisticated. He was obviously able to source outside the prison a substantial quantity of drugs and have you bring them," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"It seems more than probable that when you on arrival had knowledge it would not be a contact visit you left it in the locker."
Judge Horneman-Wren said she twice failed to attend court for sentence.
Hinkley was sentenced to 15 months' jail with immediate parole release.