A former Burnie woman walked free from the Launceston Magistrates Court despite being found guilty of trafficking in up to $40,000 worth of ice and dealing with $1650 which were the proceeds of crime.
Monique Gracen Lester, 25, now of Western Australia, was found guilty and sentenced to a four-month suspended jail term on the condition that she commits no imprisonable offence for two years.
The court heard that Lester had turned her life around from ice addiction and had a new partner and job in WA.
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Defence counsel James Kitto told Magistrate Simon Brown that Lester would return to WA with her six-year-old son who had been in the care of her paternal grandmother for two years.
Lester was caught with crystal methylamphetamine when pulled over by police on Westbury Road, Prospect Vale, about 10.50pm on July 27, 2018.
Found in the vehicle was 8.7 grams tucked in her bra, which she told police was her nipple, a larger amount (27.8 grams) in a coin box, digital scales, ice pipes, two mobile phones and unused ziplock bags.
Mr Brown said there was little to dispute in the case.
He said Lester's DNA was on the larger bag found in the car's coin box-of which she had denied knowledge.
She told police on the night that the cash came from an ATM but later in court said it had come from the sale of two rings.
Mr Brown reserved his harshest criticism for the evidence Lester gave from the witness box last week.
"I don't accept the defendant as a witness of the truth, I found her demeanour to be poor and I got the strong impression that she was adjusting her evidence," he said.
He said her denial of knowledge of the drugs inspired no confidence in him that she was being honest and candid. He said her claim that a male friend, who borrowed her car on the day in question, had left the drugs in the car was "utterly unconvincing".
He said she had not discharged the onus of people found with trafficable amounts of drugs to prove on the balance of probabilities that they did not intend to sell. The court heard that Lester was addicted to ice in 2018 and had deliberately moved interstate to escape bad influences in Tasmania.
In sentencing, Mr Brown said that Lester would have a significant spur towards reformation in getting her son back into her care.
He said general deterrence was a significant sentencing factor because ice addiction was a grave social problem.
"Ms Lester, you should view this as very much a last chance," Mr Brown said.