Hospital patient guilty of trafficking by sharing

Mount Carmel Hospital patient is jailed for seven months after being convicted of trafficking by sharing.

A 37-year old woman from Kalkara was convicted to seven months imprisonment after being found guilty of trafficking drugs at Mount Carmel Hosiptal.

Prosecuting officer Dennis Theuma told court that on 6 July 2005, heroine was found in the pillowcase of another woman who shared the same room as the accused.

The drugs were found by the hospital's staff and the two patients were questioned by the police. They both claimed that an unknown person had left the drugs on the windowsill.

At night the women tried to burn the drug but the lighter broke and the accused hid the drug in the pillowcase.

However, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras told the women that the court cannot believe their tale about finding the drug on the window sill.

Allegedly the accused received money from the other woman and the magistrate told the woman "this means that the drug was not only for you but for the other patient as well."

Moreover, the report prepared by the accused's probation officer read that while the woman had stopped abusing of drugs, she was now abusing the medicine she was taking as a substitute to heroin.

She had also stopped attending meetings with the probation officer and had a lot of problems with her 15-year old daughter.

Noting that the woman had two previous drug-related convictions and was under psychiatric and psychological care, the court convicted the woman over trafficking by sharing.

The accused was handed a seven-month jail term, advising the Director of prisons that she is kept at the Forensic Ward and given all necessary treatment. The court also ordered that the name of the accused is not published.