Former Territory Families staffer Cathryn Morris arrives at the NT Supreme Court ahead of sentencing on drugs charges.
Former Territory Families staffer Cathryn Morris arrives at the NT Supreme Court ahead of sentencing on drugs charges.

Government staffer’s LSD work ‘pick-me-up’

A FORMER Territory Families staffer has been "cut a break" and spared time behind bars after a police raid found a commercial quantity of LSD at her Parap unit.

Cathryn Morris, 28, was handed a 12-month jail sentence, suspended immediately, in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Morris's unit was raided after police intercepted a package at the Winnellie Post Office with drugs ordered over the internet.

Chief Justice Michael Grant said the loss of her job in child protection and the "public humiliation" she suffered after being charged were no reason to find the particular circumstances needed to let Morris off serving the mandatory 28 days in jail.

But he said aspects of Morris's troubled past were enough to see her avoid seeing the inside of a jail cell.

"You've been cut a break here, you need to behave yourself in the next 12 months," he said.

Morris had been on-selling some of the drugs to mates at cost price.

Chief Justice Grant said the discovery of large numbers of clipseal bags and scales at her house didn't "fit with the portrait of the unwilling participant" in the drug trade.

He said there was a growing number of users and dealers buying illicit drugs on the internet.

"The use of the internet for these purposes must be actively discouraged," he said.

Susan Cox, QC, for Morris, said her client would take small amounts of LSD at work as a pick-me-up when she became drowsy from the cannabis she was taking to help ease her back pain.

The court had previously heard Morris took five to 10 tabs each weekend as well as "top up" amounts during the week.

The 49 tabs police found at her unit had a street value just shy of $1500, but it was never revealed what she paid for them online.

Morris, who was stood down without pay shortly after her arrest and later resigned from her job as a foster care placement officer, has since become a massage therapist and hopes to train as a beautician.

She was ordered to pay a $150 victims' levy for a small amount of cannabis also found at her unit.



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