Parole for mum who smuggled drugs into jail
A ROCKHAMPTON mother who smuggled drugs into a Queensland jail for her ex-partner has narrowly escaped joining him behind bars.
Tameeka Tonya Louise Kanak, 27, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday to four counts of aggravated supply of a dangerous drug.
The court heard Kanak was carrying a package containing heroin, MDMA tablets, methylamphetamine and morphine strips when she was stopped on a walkway at Woodford Correctional Centre in November last year.
At the time she admitted she knew the package, which was wrapped in a balloon and a condom, contained drugs but said she was not sure which type and that she was delivering it to her then partner, Luke Richards.
Crown Prosecutor Caroline Marco said the "quantity and variety" of the drugs suggested Mr Richards might have planned to distribute them to other prisoners.
Defence barrister Phillip Hardcastle said his client took the risk only because she feared for her safety if she refused.
He said she had received a threatening call from one of Richards' associates telling her a package was on its way to her and if she didn't deliver it they would break into her home and damage her property.
Kanak wept as the court heard of her close relationship with her mother, who was back in Rockhampton caring for her two young children and had written a letter of support highlighting her daughter's "terrible regret" about helping the man she had since cut ties with.
Justice Roslyn Atkinson noted Kanak's involvement and volunteer work at her children's school showed a commitment to them and the wider community.
She said it was important, however, to try to deter people who were in relationships with drug users from feeding their habit.
"Prisons are full of people who have drug problems and have committed crimes because of those problems," Justice Atkinson said
"Bringing drugs in undermines security and the purpose of imprisonment."
Kanak was sentenced to 15 months in jail but released on immediate parole.
As Kanak walked from the dock, Justice Atkinson said she hoped it was the last time the relieved mother would "ever see the inside of a court room".
Kanak's teary aunt, who was in court to support her, replied "it will be".