Qld ex-lawyer jailed for drug trafficking

Former Gold Coast lawyer Brianna Ioannides faces jail time for drug trafficking and other offences.
Former Gold Coast lawyer Brianna Ioannides faces jail time for drug trafficking and other offences.

Briana Christine Ioannides' descent from successful criminal lawyer to drug addicted inmate can be pinpointed to a turning point in her life.

She broke up with her long-term partner and met a new man who would become her boyfriend then co-offender.

Before Ioannides, 30, was jailed for eight years in Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday, she was rising Gold Coast solicitor.

But her career collapsed from late 2015 when, over a two-year period, she dealt drugs wholesale and at a street level.

Among her around 40 offences were trafficking, selling and possessing drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA, GHB and steroids, as well as property and weapons crimes.

"You were a successful solicitor practising in criminal law," Justice Debra Mullins said.

"I'm sure that prior to 2015, you didn't envisage standing in the dock yourself and being sentenced.

"You exemplify what happens to a young person with a promising career who becomes addicted to drugs. You allowed your life basically to get out of control."

Ioannides and her boyfriend's home was first raided in November 2015 when commercial quantities of ice, heroin and steroids were found, as well as 1.756kg of butanediol.

A shotgun was also found.

Ioannides was released on bail before being raided again in December that year and found in possession of products to package steroids and more drugs.

Then in early 2017, she and her partner were caught trafficking 442 grams of ice and 53 litres of GHB.

When it came to debt collection, Ioannides would request payment in a "friendly manner", prosecutors said.

When payment was not forthcoming, her boyfriend would follow up with threats.

While he was remanded in custody, her offending slowed but did not stop.

She supplied $2000 of cocaine to a man a short time later and advised others how to set up their own drug enterprises.

While Justice Mullins noted Ioannides was a "joint principal" in the drug business with her partner, the fact they had broken up meant she "should be able to go forward without his adverse influence on you".

"If you are able to control your addiction when you're released from custody, you're intelligent, you're still young and you have a potential to benefit yourself and others from another career," Justice Mullins said.

"I also consider you have more promise than most for getting back on the straight and narrow."

Ioannides will be eligible for parole in February 2021.

Australian Associated Press