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    A Sydney science teacher has been charged with supply prohibited drug to her students.

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      lauren russell supply prohibited drug

      Sydney School Teacher Charged with Supply Prohibited Drug to Students

      A high school science teacher in Sydney has been charged with supply prohibited drug to her students.

      Lauren Russell worked at Lucas Heights High School as a science teacher and Year 11 welfare adviser.

      Police will allege that she also supplied cannabis to her students.

      The 42-year-old will appear at Sutherland Local Court on 9 March 2022.

      Charged with Supply Prohibited Drug

      Lauren Russell was arrested and charged with supply prohibited drug on 4 February 2022 after Sutherland Shire Police Area Command conducted an investigation into the supply of cannabis to students.

      Officers arrested Russell at her home in Beverly Hills at approximately 7.30pm before taking her to St George Police Station.

      Police will allege the mother-of-three contacted students out of hours and sold them cannabis.

      She did not appear at Sutherland Local Court on Wednesday, 9 February 2022 where her matter was adjourned for a month. This is not unusual for a first court appearance, as Sutherland criminal lawyers are permitted to appear by video link or email.

      The reason for the adjournment was to allow the 42-year-old more time to seek legal advice.

      Mrs Russell’s LinkedIn profile describes her as a high school science teacher. The Lucas Height’s High School website lists her as the Year 11 student welfare adviser.

      An NSW Education spokeswoman confirmed she had been barred from working at the school or contacting any students after police laid charges.

      “We are deeply concerned by the allegations…We have high expectations of our employees. As this matter is before the courts, we are unable to provide further comment.”

      “Our main priority is the safety and wellbeing of students. As soon as the Department was made aware of the allegations, the teacher was removed from the school. They will not be allowed on school grounds and have been instructed not to contact students,” she said.

      Russell did not appear in court on Wednesday morning when her matters were mentioned. The court heard she needed more time to seek legal advice.

      She will have to continue complying with her bail conditions while the case is ongoing.

      Neighbours Shocked

      Neighbours described the 42-year-old as a loving wife who is often seen playing with her kids on the street. One of the neighbours broke down when she heard the news of her charges.

      “What, no that’s not right,” she told reporters through tears.

      The neighbour asked to remain anonymous and said the allegations of Russell supplying a prohibited drug seemed totally out of character.

      “This is horrible. She’s a fantastic neighbour and a lovely person. Hearing this is just totally out of character for her. I would never have imagined this happening to her.”

      “She’s been living in her house for 17 years and there have never been any dramas. She is just a kind person who loves her husband and kids. You’ll see her out on the street playing with the kids on the scooter, it’s beautiful.”

      Supply Prohibited Drug

      Section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) sets out that if you knowingly took part in the process of supplying, or agreeing to supply a prohibited drug, you can be guilty of an offence.

      You can fight a supply prohibited drug charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. You engaged in the supply of a substance, OR
      2. Knowingly took part in the supply of a substance; AND
      3. That substance was a prohibited drug, OR
      4. You believed, or led the recipient to believe that it was a prohibited drug

      If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

      Drug supply charges are taken very seriously by the Courts. The maximum penalties reflect the very high likelihood of jail.

      Despite this there have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused person retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. You can read about them by clicking here.

      Having the best drug lawyers will go a long way towards beating these charges. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

      One of the below defences to supply prohibited drug charges may also apply:

      1. You weren’t aware that you possessed the drug
      2. Carey defence: You were holding the drug on behalf of another person and intended to give it back to that person (Carey (1990) 50 A Crim R 163)
      3. The substance was not a prohibited drug, AND you did not believe, nor did you hold it out as a prohibited drug
      4. The prohibited drug was for your personal use only
      5. Illegal search: If Police found the drug due to an unlawful search. This may be due to Police not having reasonable grounds to search you, or any warrant(s) they have used being improper or defective
      6. You were not involved in any steps of the supply
      7. No supply has taken place and you had no intention to supply
      8. Duress: You were forced to commit the drug supply

      The maximum penalties for supply prohibited drug charges are based on the quantity of the drug.

      For any amount less than the indictable quantity, the maximum penalty for drug supply is 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000.

      However, if the case is dealt with in the Local Court, these penalties are reduced to 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500.

      For a commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty becomes 20 years jail and/or a fine of $385,000.

      At the top of the range, for large commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $550,000

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