A nurse with 15 years’ experience planned to bring over €800 of cannabis into the Midlands Prison to give to a prisoner as she made her daily rounds.
Linda Holden (51), previously of Rathdowney but now residing in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, was charged with offences under section 15 of the misuse of drugs act.
At this week’s circuit court, Detective Sgt Emmet Casserly gave evidence that on January 7, 2015, the accused drove to a filling station on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise, where she remained for 15 minutes. She then drove to the Midlands Hospital and parked in the car park, upon which the gardaí approached her and identified themselves.
The accused immediately told the gardaí she wanted to resign from her job, and revealed to the gardaí drugs in the glove compartment. There were two cigarette boxes containing cannabis herb, stuffed into a condom.
The accused admitted that she had met someone at the filling station to acquire the drugs, which she intended passing to a prisoner of the Midlands Prison.
Holden made three medical rounds per day in the prison and planned to give the drugs to a particular prisoner, for which she was expecting to be paid €1,000.
Det Casserly said there were 41.4g of cannabis, valued at €828.
The accused had worked as a nurse in the prison for 15 years, and was suspended from her job in March of last year following her arrest.
A probation report on the accused indicated that this was not the first time she had indulged in this behaviour.
Taking the witness box, the accused told the court that she had suffered ten years of horrific addiction, with her drinking spiralling out of control and “a massive cocaine problem”.
The court heard that since the offence, the accused has assisted other women with addiction issues by giving talks.
The matter was put back to tomorrow morning (Friday, December 9) for sentencing.