Woman shared dangerous mystery drug with friends
AN IPSWICH court has heard how a young Ipswich woman and her friends snorted what they believed was cocaine left behind after her boyfriend had died only the day before from an apparent drug overdose.
In sentencing this week, the court heard the drug Jamie Amelia Handover and her friends took may not have been cocaine.
It left several of them feeling sick and requiring hospital treatment.
The potentially deadly drug use was revealed in a Crown prosecution case heard before Ipswich District Court where the 21-year old woman pleaded guilty to drug offences.
Handover, 21, from Inala, pleaded guilty to four charges of supplying cocaine to four people in Redbank Plains on July 4 last year. She was only 20 at the time.
Defence barrister Cecelia Bernardin argued for leniency, saying the Handover assisted police with inquiries that led to her being charged.
In passing sentence, Judge Dennis Lynch QC said Handover and the others thought they were using cocaine.
“And in light of what happened the day before you should have been aware of the consequences,” he said.
“People have no way of knowing exactly what it is in the substance they are consuming.”
Judge Lynch said he found her conduct at the lower end, and with no commercial purpose.
“It was a sharing of a drug between a group of young people and was only a small quantity supplied,” he said.
“I accept it was a spontaneous decision after finding the substance in the bedroom.
“You made frank admissions to police. If not it was unlikely that you would have been charged with supplying.”
In Crown facts before the Ipswich court, police were called to a house in Redbank Plains on July 3, 2019 at 5.45pm after the sudden death of Handover’s boyfriend.
The next day police were sent to the same house at 8pm when a call was made to triple-0 advising that five people had used cocaine, or some other drug, and some may have overdosed.
Handover told police they all used “what they thought was cocaine, but it must have been something different because the effects were not usual for cocaine use”.
She gave police a small clip seal bag that was in her shirt pocket.
Two of the drug takers, a young male and a woman, were rushed to hospital for treatment, the woman’s respiratory condition deteriorating in the ambulance.
She required treatment from critical care paramedics and was given medical intervention with the overdosing depressant drug Narcan, sodium chloride, intravenous fluids and was placed on oxygen.
Handover was interviewed by police on August 4, saying that she and a group of friends retuned to the Redbank Plains house about dusk after being at a pub in Raceview.
She located the clip seal bag of what she believed to be cocaine after police seized everything else the night before, following her boyfriend’s death.
She said it held an estimated half a gram of cocaine.
Handover told them she drew up lines of cocaine for everyone to ‘snort’.
Just minutes later the effects made it clear that the drug was not cocaine and a Triple-0 call was made.
Judge Lynch said what occurred was a stark reminder to Handover, and others, of the dangers of illicit drug use.
He noted that she no longer used drugs and had good family support through her mother and others.
“The circumstances of the death of your boyfriend are not clear to me, and no submission made to me of what was the factors in his death other than that he was taking drugs and took a white pill,” Judge Lynch said.
He took into account her remorse, her youth, that she had changed her lifestyle, and that the supplies to friends had been very low end.
Handover, who now lives on the Gold Coast, was sentenced to a supervised two-year probation order. No conviction was recorded.