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Woman caught bringing drug-filled syringe into courthouse

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A recovering methamphetamine addict was caught bringing a syringe filled with the drug into the Law Courts Complex as she turned up to make a court appearance to answer to a meth-trafficking charge, court heard on Tuesday.

The woman, 27, came to the downtown court complex on March 13 and wound up in police custody due to sharp-eyed Sheriffs.

An odd object spotted during a routine X-ray scan at the entranceway on York Avenue led to a physical search, court heard.

A syringe filled with 40 ml of meth, 52 empty "dime bags," a scale and a blue "armband" subbing as a tourniquet was found, a Crown prosecutor told court.

She was quickly detained by Sheriffs who called police to pick the woman up and formally charge her with drug possession.

She pleaded guilty to that allegation, along with a charge of failing to attend court in January.

The Crown dropped a November 2013 trafficking charge which had triggered her need to attend court in the first place.

The woman — a mom to a two-year-old son — has struggled to overcome her addiction despite having attended treatment in the past, defence lawyer Louis Mendelson said.

"This type of addiction is a life-long struggle," he said.

She admits being "reckless" by bringing the drug-filled syringe into the courthouse, Mendelson added.

Judge Tim Preston described the situation as "extremely concerning."

"It (the syringe) can be a weapon. It's extremely reckless of you to have done that," he said.

He fined her $300 each for the two charges she pleaded guilty to.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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