A former well regarded social worker who spent years working at a school has told of her sad fall into drugs and prostitution.
A former well regarded social worker who spent years working at a school has told of her sad fall into drugs and prostitution.

Social worker’s descent into drugs and prostitution revealed

A FORMER well regarded social worker who was employed by a Far North school and a jail has detailed her descent into drugs and prostitution before being denied bail on drug trafficking charges.

Lauren Linda Maddigan, 36, and her partner Jake Barnes, 36 are accused of dealing ice around the Cairns community from their Edge Hill residence for just over a month, from late July throughout August.

She was remanded in custody on August 31.

Representing herself, Ms Maddigan made an impassioned plea for release in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Tuesday, arguing her five weeks in custody had been "very reflective" and she wanted to get out and get clean.


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She said her last few years had been "tumultuous" as she had become the victim of domestic violence and had been forced to start working as an escort.

"I'm not ashamed of having to do that kind of work," she said.

"I was a respected social worker, I worked hard in the Cairns community and the Cape York community.

"This past month has been very reflective for me.

"I beg the court to give me a chance please."

Ms Maddigan told the court she had worked at Djarragun College in Gordonvale for seven years and also had a brief stint as an official visitor at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre before her life fell apart.

She said her children were also suffering with her in custody and she wanted to get out to access counselling services.

The court heard her criminal history included multiple failures to appear in court and she had just finished probation for drug offending when police alleged the trafficking began.

Police prosecutor Nathaniel Gillis said they were also concerned about the risk of reoffending and that it appeared to be "escalating".

He said if found guilty she would be facing a "significant period of actual custody".

The court was told Ms Maddigan had also allegedly refused to give police the password to a CCTV system set up at the house where the couple was alleged to have trafficked drugs from.

Magistrate Joe Pinder said the prosecution case was "very strong".

"The allegations are it was over a reasonably significant period of time," he said.

Magistrate Pinder said bail was refused based on the seriousness of the strong case and that she was an "unacceptable risk" of failing to appear or reoffend.

Originally published as Top social worker's descent into drugs, prostitution revealed