News

Couple wins $3k on pokies, uses it to buy 4kg of pot

Bundaberg court house
Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT4

AFTER winning more than $3000 on the pokies, a Bundaberg couple decided to cash it in for 4kg of marijuana - which they say was for personal use.

Karen Lee Lores, 49 and Lisa Jane Bourke, 45 faced Bundaberg District Court on Thursday charged with one count each of possessing 4.66kg of marijuana with an estimated street value of $30,000-$40,000.

The court was told that on November 4, Lores and Bourke were having a great night out at East Bundaberg Sports Club drinking and playing the pokies.

It was a lucky night for the pair who collectively won more than $3000.

About 10pm, the couple left the club and were walking home when they say a man approached them.

The ladies' lucky night continued when the man offered to sell them about 5kg of marijuana for $2500, in what Crown prosecutor David Finch described as a "bargain" deal.

What made the offer more enticing was that they had spent six months researching the effects of medicinal marijuana for health issues.

The man told them to meet him behind a nearby shed with the cash.

Defence barrister Claire Boothman said the women mulled the offer over before heading to the shed to find a maroon duffel bag.

The women say they placed the $2500 in cash on the ground and took the bag with the man believed to be watching in the background.

Ms Boothman said when the women arrived home and opened the bag they were astounded to find 11 packages of marijuana.

Almost a month later, on December 1, police executed a search at the couple's home and found the drugs in the unopened packages.

Mr Finch said Lores and Bourke's version of events stretched "credulity beyond the point of breaking", arguing the amount of marijuana suggested the couple had plans to sell it.

Ms Boothman said there was no evidence the couple planned to sell the drugs and they had left the packages unopened because they had been overwhelmed by the amount of marijuana they had bought.

Judge Brian Devereaux said there was a lack of evidence that the marijuana was to be sold.

Lores and Bourke were each sentenced to 12 months jail wholly suspended for 18 months.

Topics:  buncourt marijuana



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