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February 26, 2021

Woman jailed after trying to smuggle heroin substitute into prison

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A bupenophine style strip.     File photo
A buprenophine style strip. File photo

Rodney Stevens

Trying to smuggle a restricted drug used to treat heroin addiction into Kempsey jail has landed a Ballina woman in prison.

Nova Frankland appeared in Lismore Local court on Monday for sentencing on the charge of attempting to introduce a small quantity of a prohibited drug into a detention centre.

The maximum penalty for this offence is two years jail and/or $2200 fine.

The 38 year-old was initially also charged with supplying a prohibited drug, a charge that was later withdrawn at the request of Detective Inspector Fehon.

She was represented by her solicitor Tom Ivey.

On July 31 last year, Ms Frankland drove a hire car to the Mind North Coast Correctional Centre at Aldaville, near Kempsey, to visit her de facto partner, who was in custody, police facts stated.

‘When parking she was approached by Corrective Services Officers who informed her that a drug detection dog would be used to detect drugs on her and her vehicle,’ police facts said.

When Ms Frankland got out of the car she was seen trying to swallow something by the officers and she was taken to a waiting room of the centre and police were called.

When police approached, Ms Frankland told officers she had swallowed ‘bupe’ – buprenorphine strips.

‘She stated that she brought five to 10 buprenorphine strips to the correctional centre to give to her defacto.’

Buprenorphine is a prescription drug used to treat heroin dependence.

‘They (4 milligram buprenorphine strips) were put in glad wrap, then wrapped in clear resealable plastic bags and then wrapped in surgical gloves before being heat shrunk into a small round size to make it easier to smuggle into the centre,’ police facts said.

Ms Frankland told police ‘she uses buprenorphine at times.’

‘She is a long-term user of heroin herself,’ court documents revealed.

Following her arrest, Ms Frankland was taken to Kempsey Hospital and observed as there were concerns about the amount of buprenorphine she had taken.

She was then transferred to Port Macquarie Hospital, where she self discharged at 1pm on August 1.

On August 3, police attended the hospital and a warrant was issued for Ms Frankland’s arrest, for breaching bail and supplying a prohibited drug.

Ms Frankland was arrested and granted conditional bail by the court on September 6, 2016, after her father agreed to forfeit $400 if bail was breached.

At her appearance on October 13, the court heard Ms Frankland was assessed as suitable for the Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment program and also referred to Life on Track.

Then, when she failed to report to Ballina police on November 21, another warrant was issued for her arrest.

Following her arrest on March 2, Ms Frankland was refused bail and remained in custody until Monday’s court appearance.

In sentencing Ms Frankland to one month jail, Magistrate David Heilpern took into account the time she had served in custody while refused bail.

She will be eligible for release on June 29.


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