Prison guard’s daughter on festival drug supply charges
The daughter of a prison guard intends to plead guilty to supplying 35 MDMA capsules at an electronic dance music festival in Sydney, a court has heard.
Ashleigh Alice Kate Bennett, who turns 20 on Friday, faced Burwood Local Court today wearing a blazer and black glasses with her long, blonde hair tied up in a bun.
The teenager from Berkeley Vale, on the New South Wales Central Coast, was supported in court by her mother. She is the daughter of an officer with Corrective Services NSW, The Daily Telegraph reported from her bail hearing last month.
Ms Bennett was arrested at the hardstyle Epik Music Festival held at the Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park on December 14, 2019.
The event was described by organisers on Facebook as their "most unique and over-the-top production to date" featuring pyrotechnics, fireworks and lasers for its "journey style concept".
A police operation involving South West Metropolitan Region officers and the dog unit was conducted at the venue and Ms Bennett was one of 18 people charged with drug offences.
Lawyer Jeannette Fahd today indicated a guilty plea to the first of Ms Bennett's four charges.
According to court documents seen by news.com.au, the charge alleges Ms Bennett supplied or knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug between 8pm and 11.45pm at the festival, being 35 capsules of MDMA (8.46 grams of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine).
Ms Fahd did not enter a plea for the other three charges but said the officer in charge of the investigation was in agreement with the defence proposal to have them withdrawn.
Ms Bennett is also charged with possessing a prohibited drug, dealing with property proceeds of crime and unlawfully obtained goods, being $260 of cash allegedly found in her possession.
Ms Fahd asked for the teenager to be excused from appearing on the next occasion.
"There has been some attention given to this matter, and it has been quite distressing to Ms Bennett," the lawyer said.
Magistrate Lisa Stapleton adjourned the matter to the same court on February 11 but indicated Ms Bennett needed to be there given her intention to admit to plead guilty to the first charge.
Her bail was continued and she was shielded by her mother with an umbrella as she left the courthouse.