Busted with $20,000 in drugs, woman remains in jail

A 23-year-old drug addict who was found with more than $20,000 worth of drugs will remain behind bars.

The Ballarat Magistrates Court heard Courtney Morris and a co-accused were arrested at a Ballarat petrol station on March 6 after police found a total of $70,000 worth of ice and cocaine in their possession.

The court heard police attended the Ballarat petrol station to speak with the co-accused when they spotted scales in his car.

During this time Morris had arrived in a second car and was inside the store when the co-accused was seen handing something to her and saying "you don't know anything".

Both were arrested and Morris was searched after pleading with police officers to use the toilet facilities.

During the search, cocaine with a street value of $20,000, 3.37grams of ice worth $4000 and $2400 in cash suspected of being proceeds of crime, were found.

Another $1000 worth of ice was also found in Morris' handbag and $46,000 worth of ice and a shotgun in the co-accused's car.

Morris was released on bail following the arrest with strict conditions, which prohibited Morris from interacting with the co-accused, but breached the condition on April 18.

Morris appeared via videolink in court where she pleaded guilty to four charges, including two counts of trafficking drugs


Morris' lawyer, Marcus Langlois, told the court his client had no priors.

He said despite Morris leaving the family home at 13 to get away from an abusive father and drug-addicted mother, she managed to complete year 12 and begin a nursing degree before she met people tied up with drugs.

It was through these associates Morris met the co-accused and became addicted to drugs.

"She was consumed with an addiction," Mr Langlois said.

"She had to start selling to fund her own habit."

Mr Langois said Morris had used the last 96 days spent in custody to deal with her drug problems.

He said she was taking the problem seriously and was doing everything possible to address it.

Urging the magistrate to deal with the matter with time served, Mr Langlois asked magistrate Robert Kumar to consider her lack of priors, pending motherhood and impact a conviction would have on her future.

But Mr Kumar said the 96 days was not enough time.

He convicted Morris and sentenced her to four months' jail, counting the 96 days as time served.

Mr Kumar told Morris it was now up to her to decide how she wanted to deal with her life.

But for a guilty plea, he said he would have imprisoned Morris for twice as long.