COURT: Former M'boro nurse cries as convictions recorded
UNTIL last week, Karen Lee Goroch, 53, had no criminal history.
But the Aldershot woman, who has previously served her community as a pathology nurse, was left in tears as she pleaded guilty to three serious drug offences in Maryborough Magistrates Court.
Goroch was charged with possessing dangerous drugs, possessing property suspected of being used in the commission of a drug offence and possessing property suspected of being the proceeds of an offence after police raided her home earlier this year.
Among the items police found were 450 grams of cannabis, glass jars, digital scales and clip-seal bags.
More than $1900 was also found concealed in a sock under a bread bin.
When police questioned Goroch about what they had found at the scene, she denied any knowledge.
She told them she was in possession of the money so she could pay bills but could not provide a reasonable explanation as to where the money had come from.
Defence lawyer Travis George said his client was struggling with her mental health and had sickness benefits.
He said she had three adult children and a daughter aged 14 who had been the subject of a bitter custody dispute with a former partner.
Mr George said his client had no contact with her daughter, which caused her a lot of pain.
He said his client had gone to TAFE at the age of 40, qualified as a nurse and worked in pathology until she became ill and started receiving benefits.
Mr George said it was of great concern that recording convictions against Goroch would have severe consequences for her career as a nurse if and when she decided to return to the profession.
Magistrate John Smith said he understood the impact that recording a conviction could have on the defendant.
But he said it was also critical for those in the health industry to know about such incidents.
"She has not prior convictions, but these are three serious, and I mean really serious, offences," Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said the act of not recording convictions was not meant to prevent other agencies from knowing of relevant criminal history.
Goroch was fined $4000 and convictions were recorded.