Drug dealing nurse caught out by text messages
A NURSE who moonlighted as a drug dealer has avoided spending any time behind bars after being busted suppling cannabis and methamphetamine.
Leiha Marie Walker, 44, had been working as a nurse in Townsville until January when she had to stop working for health reasons.
The New Zealand born woman was sentenced on Thursday in Townsville District Court on 11 counts of supplying a dangerous drug after pleading guilty.
Walker was stopped by police while driving in the early hours of May 28, 2017.
Crown prosecutor Monique Sheppard said officers decided to search Walker's car because of her demeanour when speaking to police.
Police located some drug paraphernalia and a mobile phone that was forensically examined.
Messages taken from the phone revealed Walker had supplied or offered to supply cannabis and methamphetamine 11 times to seven different people in the two weeks leading up to her run-in with the law.
"Of the 11 supplies, seven of those were methamphetamine," Ms Sheppard said.
"The supplies were street level and in regards to the methamphetamine they were commercial in that on each occasion there was a discussion about exchanging money." The court heard Walker supplied the drugs to friends and had a previous supply charge on her record but it was 18 years old.
Defence barrister Kelly Stone said at the moment Walker could still return to her work when her medical condition allowed but the recording of convictions would impact that possibility.
Judge Michael Shanahan acknowledged that but said the recording of convictions was appropriate.
Walker was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment but was released on immediate parole.