Gran’s house: bongs, cannabis, syringes . . .

Grandmother pleads guilty to allowing junkies to shoot up in her backyard while young children were home.Source: Maitland Mercury

A grandmother who allowed junkies to shoot up in her backyard has told a court the home was more of a safe house than a supply premises.

The 36-year-old woman fromRutherford in the NSW Hunter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was to face a hearing in Maitland Local Court yesterday but pleaded guilty at late notice to knowingly operating a drug premises.

Six children, two men and two women were found inside the Verge Street house during a police raid last December.

A third man was seen jumping from a bathroom window and over fences.

The court heard police found a loaded syringe on the woman’s bedside table, “fit” packs – plastic packs used to store used and unused syringes – an axe and $600 in cash.

The woman refused to tell police what the black substance was in one syringe but said it was for personal use.

A police drug dog found bongs, scales, an electronic blender, small resealable bags, cannabis, and a UHF radio receiver tuned into the police radio frequency in a front room occupied by the woman’s daughter and her boyfriend.

A glass pipe used for smoking amphetamines was found in the bathroom and in the laundry syringes, alcohol wipes and syringe disposal containers were discovered.

The woman’s shed was decked out with several lounge chairs and a plastic container with the words: “Please use the bins next to each chair for your rubbish.”

The woman’s solicitor argued the property was “almost like a safe house” which placed the offence at the lower end of the scale.

Magistrate Sharron Crews had a different view.

“I wouldn’t call it a safe house, but people knew it was a place they could use drugs without detection,” Ms Crews said. “You have younger children; you should be focused on them rather than putting yourself in this state where you are incapable of caring for them.”

The woman was placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond. A man has also been charged in relation to the incident.