Woman found with cannabis ordered to get counselling

CHARGED: Prosecutor Emily Ollenburg said Vicki Colleen Bell had pulled a bag containing two grams of cannabis from her pocket when asked by police if she had anything to declare.
CHARGED: Prosecutor Emily Ollenburg said Vicki Colleen Bell had pulled a bag containing two grams of cannabis from her pocket when asked by police if she had anything to declare.

A FORMER meth addict who told police a bag of weed inside her pocket was something she had found has been ordered to undertake drug counselling.

Vicki Colleen Bell, 39, appeared at Cleveland Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where she pleaded guilty to one count each of possession of dangerous drugs and contravening police directions.

The court heard Bell, a plant nursery worker, had been driving at Thorneside on May 20 when her car was stopped by police along Hugh Street.

The car’s three occupants were detained as the car was searched.

Prosecutor Emily Ollenburg said Bell had pulled a bag containing two grams of cannabis from her pocket when asked if she had anything to declare. 

“She told police it was cannabis and she had found it,” she said.

Bell was told she had to be fingerprinted by police within seven days.

Bell missed the deadline, telling police on her arrest at her Capalaba home that she had forgotten.

“… She stated that she had been busy with work, 'I’m moving to a new house’ and had gone to a funeral’,” she said.

“The defendant stated she had lost the ... notice issued to her.”

Bell’s lawyer told the court her client’s drug offence with marijuana was a once-off incident.

She said Bell had not taken methamphetamine for the past eight-and-a-half months and hardly touched other drugs.

“I understand recently a lot of her very good friends had passed and it was related to that,” she said.

The court heard Bell had moved to a four-bedroom home, was trying to get her kids back and was working hard after her release from prison earlier this year.

“Your honour, I go to AA meetings every Thursday night and... two weeks out of jail, I got a job and car licence,” Bell said.

Magistrate Deborah Vasta said Bell needed support and referred her to drug counselling.

“If you're working, that is a big part of your rehabilitation ... and you've been on probation for a couple of years now,” Ms Vasta said.

“… I think there is a benefit in (counselling).

“Drug addicts are really hurting themselves more than anyone else, and kids.”