Former prison officer faces court

A FORMER senior corrections officer has faced court over drugs and stolen goods found at her home in a police raid in June.

Jessica Martin, 30, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to possessing amphetamine, possessing a drug of dependence and dealing property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

The court heard police executed a search warrant at Martin’s Frankston home on June 22, finding six snap-lock bags of amphetamines and three prescription medication tablets.

The officers also located a range of items believed to have been stolen, including a mobile phone, bank cards and a bank statement not belonging to her, a computer monitor, a laptop and a television.

Martin had applied for diversion, but the application was refused.

Defence lawyer Mike Wardell said his client, who previously lived in Ballarat, was a former senior corrections officer who dealt with prosecutions.

He said she had worked for the government department for seven years.

“A greater fall from grace one could hardly imagine,” he said.

Mr Wardell said his client had been on long-term sick leave when the offending occurred and had resigned from her job when charges were laid.

He said Martin, a mother of two, had endured a challenging two-year period prior to her arrest, including the break-up of her marriage and mental health issues.

He said Martin had started using amphetamines as a coping mechanism.

“We’ve got to this situation where, through no fault of hers, she had this very unsettled period over two years,” Mr Wardell said.

“It was a decline into criminal offending and everything else that went with it over that two years.”

Mr Wardell urged the court not to convict his client, saying it would affect her return to the workforce.

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson ordered Martin undergo assessment for a community corrections order. 

Sentencing was adjourned to November 21.

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