Inmate takes rap for drug charge after prison yard meeting
PRISONER Misty Lee Stevans had only been in jail one day when she agreed to take the rap on a drug charge for a fellow inmate.
An Ipswich court heard Stevans falsely signed a statutory declaration nominating herself as the offender after being briefed on the details of the crime.
Her lie was quickly exposed by police officers who had been working the case.
Appearing in the dock of Ipswich District Court, Misty Lee Stevans, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice at Spring Creek on February 13.
The court heard Stevans was an inmate at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, near Gatton.
Crown prosecutor Evan O'Hanlon-Rose said Stevans was due to be released from her current jail sentence on December 13.
Mr O'Hanlon-Rose said the offence before the court was committed by Stevans the day after she was sentenced on 19 charges including drugs and dishonesty offences.
Stevans met another inmate, named in court as Natasha Kier, who faced drug charges in a Caboolture court.
"Foolishly she offered to take responsibility for possession of drug related property,” he said.
"When spoken to by police she immediately admitted creating false documents as a favour to a friend.”
Mr O'Hanlon-Rose said such offences struck at the heart of justice and carried a seven-year maximum jail penalty. He said her case did fall at the lower end of the spectrum with Stevans not doing it for self-gain but as a favour to a friend, "to get in the good graces of Kier”.
The court heard Ipswich was part of a trial program for prisoners to be granted immediate eligibility to begin their parole application.
The trial was intended to speed up this process from the usual two or three months - with a decision expected to be made in 9-10 days.
Defence barrister Nathan Laing submitted a detailed relapse prevention plan that Stevans had worked on in jail.
Mr Laing said she completed education and support programs.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said there had been a degree of sophistication in the offence after hatching the plan in the exercise yard with Kier.
"Ms Kier provided substantial information that is included in the statutory declaration. (Stevans) had to put herself there; put herself in the motor vehicle,” he said.
"It was an elaborate lie, and sophisticated for two ladies seated in the prison exercise yard.”
Judge Horneman-Wren said her letter to the court shows insight into her addiction behaviour.
"You quite bizarrely and stupidly agreed to take the blame for another persons' drug charges,” he said.
He sentenced Stevans to a two-year supervised probation order.