Tourism worker escapes drug conviction

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 16:20 13/09/2012

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A Hamilton tourism worker has escaped a drug conviction after successfully arguing that it would end her career.

Joanne Lee Hamblyn,  47, was discharged on charges of possession of cannabis and possession of methamphetamine in the Hamilton District Court today.

Hamblyn's counsel said his client was an assistant manager in the tourism industry and involved her travelling around the world.

Trips over the next few months include to Australia, United States and Canada. A conviction would not only prevent any travel but also cost her job.

Hamblyn was not also a regular user of either drug, he said.

In considering his decision, Judge Glen Marshall said Hamblyn did only have small amounts when caught by police: a "minute" quantity of methamphetamine and about 5 grams of cannabis, "which is also very small", he said.

"I must then decide whether a conviction will be out of proportion ... the direct consequence of a conviction would lose your employment. In this case I will exercise my discretion in granting a discharge without conviction."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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