Australia: Former NT Police Officer Escapes Conviction Over Cannabis Charge

The Australian Brodacsting Corporation reports…….A 28-year-old woman has walked free from Darwin Local Court after pleading guilty to a drug possession charge while serving as a Northern Territory Police officer.

Brittany Kettle had been charged with possessing less than a trafficable quantity of cannabis and was arrested on September 18 at her home in Humpty Doo.

Facts tendered in court showed police had searched Kettle’s property and seized “0.49 grams of cannabis plant material contained in a half-smoked joint and further loose plant material located in a cabinet within the lounge room area.”

The court heard Kettle had been a police officer for seven years, serving in Tennant Creek, Gove and Palmerston, before she resigned the day after her arrest last month.

Her lawyer, Ray Murphy, said Kettle was now unemployed.

“She’s lost her employment as a result of her offending, albeit as a result of her decision to resign from the police force,” Mr Murphy said.

“That decision was based upon my client’s deep shame and embarrassment at the way she’s conducted herself, and the effect that her conduct has had on the reputation of the Northern Territory Police Force.

The court heard the former senior constable had spent 13 hours in custody following her arrest.

In handing down his decision, Judge Greg MacDonald agreed that given the minimal amount of marijuana involved, an “infringement notice could’ve been pursued” as opposed to charges.

“No doubt police acted in the way they did for good reason, reason being the reputation of the NT Police Force needs to be preserved and protected in the eyes of the public,” Judge MacDonald said.

“Brittany Kettle has paid a significant price, and I accept that this has caused her great shame.”

She was not given a conviction for the offence.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-13/nt-former-cop-walks-free-after-pleading-guilty-to-drug-charge/12761942

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