DPP solicitor on drug charges sentenced

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Former DPP Solicitor Lisa Munro has been sentenced to a 12 month good behaviour bond for drug possession.

Munro, who was a member of Group Six, an elite team of lawyers at the ODPP dealing with important cases and referrals from ICAC, pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing a prohibited drug after she was found with half a gram of cocaine in Kings Cross back in July.

Police stopped and searched Munro when she pulled up in a taxi and briefly spoke to a man before getting back in the Taxi, The Daily Telegraph reported.  Police said she was carrying the bag of cocaine and had white residue on her mouth when they searched her.

Munro resigned from the DPP last month.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 33 year old appeared composed when she was sentenced at the Downing Centre District Court this morning.
  • Lindsay on 13/10/2015 11:35:12 AM

    I am sorry, I do not subscribe to those of you who seem to think a small amount of a drug for personal use is not a crime or is irrelevant.

    To obtain the drug she knew someone who was a drug trafficker. Only a small amount of the drug? I am sorry, you can't be a little bit pregnant. It is either being involved in crime and drug trafficking or it is not.

    Whilst the sentence was probably appropriate, I hope she was required to attend a drug rehabilitation program.

    I also hope that if she was permitted to continue as a lawyer, she was required to name or provide contact details all the people she has obtained drugs from.

    It is our duty as lawyers not to breach the law or facilitate breaches and certainly not be involved in drug trafficking.

    To me is is corruption if, being in a crown prosecutorial position, the person does not report such breaches of the law but becomes part of them.

    Why try and water down possession..... without possession and buyers, there is no market for the drugs.

  • William on 6/10/2015 5:02:18 PM

    It is clear that the Court system does not share the views of Louise and Simon because it provides an avenue by which the accused can raise issues of a psychological and/or psychiatric nature (s38).

    After that assessment is completed then the Court can decide on the appropriateness of sentencing because it is fully informed.

    Louise and Simon have taken an approach to denigrate an individual irrespective of the circumstances.

    Simon states:

    "I doubt if she could have performed at work"

    There are many disabled and mentally ill people who are productive in the workplace.

    I draw to your attention the sad state of affairs of former politician John Brogdan who attempted suicide whilst being productive in a high performing job.

  • Simon Munslow on 1/10/2015 4:00:32 PM

    Louise, was she in a 'deep dark state of mind?' and 'self medicating' or was she using it as a party drug?. If she was so depressed that she could not not think to seek help, I doubt if she could have performed at work, and in such a situation a GP would ensure an appropriate referral.
    Whatever the reason, she has certainly been very stupid, and it has ruined her career.

  • William on 1/10/2015 11:28:48 AM

    Louise states:

    “What a silly woman. She was on a golden path and has no one to blame but herself.”

    It is unclear what motivated the lawyer to commence drug taking. There are all kinds of sadnesses and crises in a person’s life that turn somebody to substance abuse. Even the most intelligent person has deep dark times and can be vulnerable.

    Until the facts and arguments are disclosed as to the reasons for her addiction nobody should prejudge the woman. Sure she broke the law and committed a criminal offence but what led her into it. Was her family killed in a car accident? Did her partner commit suicide? Was she a victim of rape?

    It is unfair to say a person should have seen a psych especially when the person is in a deep dark confused state of mind.

  • Simon Munslow on 30/09/2015 7:55:17 AM

    Broadly Louise I agree with you, however, she was a relatively well paid professional who could no doubt have afforded to see a private Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Professional organisations can only do so much.
    You are right, Cocaine use is endemic in the profession. But does that justify the behaviour?, remember, she was undertaking sensitive work, and, the fact that she was using Cocaine could potentially have led to her being blackmailed.

  • Louise Steer on 29/09/2015 12:26:00 PM

    What a silly woman. She was on a golden path and has no one to blame but herself. Lawyers in private practice might be able to get away with such behaviour, but lawyers in a sensitive role, such as with ICAC, will always be monitored by the police looking for an opportunity to score a point.

    Cocaine use has long been endemic among lawyers because they can afford it and the NSW Law Society's counselling facility is woefully inadequate to deal with such a serious issue. Employee assistance programs using the services of appropriately qualified professionals need to be in place and supported by the profession in general.

  • Nathan on 29/09/2015 9:43:18 AM

    These comments from NSW lawyers is alarming. As a Victorian solicitor, I expect the standard of those permitted to practise and be on the court roll should be very high indeed. Drugs are a blight on society and being nonchalant about a professional in such a role possessing and using same is concerning.

  • Eddy on 29/09/2015 8:17:20 AM

    The global war on drugs has already failed. Punishing drug users helps nobody.

  • Ronald on 28/09/2015 11:10:27 PM

    Agree with Steven. Should not be a criminal conviction for possession. I am sure there are other lawyers in the DPP who have used cocaine.

  • Steven on 28/09/2015 3:00:14 PM

    As a NSW solicitor I would not expect this type of matter to be a bar on admission as a lawyer.
    Small amount. Personal use. Lets not get too carried away. I know Police with a couple of drink driving convictions that are still serving.

  • Suzanne Hadley on 28/09/2015 2:13:58 PM

    as a Queensland solicitor also, I am sad to see Qld does not get it right either with its screening for ethical behaviour - witness the convicted sex offender admitted recently

  • Michael on 28/09/2015 1:16:19 PM

    As a Queensland Solicitor I hope that Queensland ethical screening for admission is more effective.

    To understate things ...NSW obviously don't always get it right.

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