Women's drug poison case delayed

·2-min read

A bid by two women to reverse their guilty pleas in relation to a drug poison plot is a "wholly troubling" development, says a Sydney judge.

Marissa Tofield, then 27, and Claire Dawson, then 28, were charged in January 2020 with conspiring to murder a 30-year-old man.

At the time police said officers had raided their inner west flats and found cannabis, methylamphetamine, mobile phones, laptops and documents.

Dawson later pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the offence of administering poison or another substance intending to injure, cause distress or pain.

Tofield pleaded guilty to administering poison or another substance intending to injure, cause distress or pain.

Part of the crown case involves telephone intercepts.

The women were listed for a sentence hearing in the District Court on Tuesday before Judge Denia Yehia.

But she noted the women's applications to reverse their guilty pleas, as well as an affidavit from Tofield's solicitor saying all steps were taken to provide her with advice and to take her instructions.

Her barrister Brendan Green said his client had been arrested for breaching her bail on Monday night, so he had been unable to speak to her about the application.

"Frankly I have to say the situation that has developed in respect of both these matters is wholly troubling," the judge said.

After a short adjournment, Mr Green said Tofield had now indicated she doesn't want to proceed with the application but he can't formally withdraw it until he has her written instructions.

Will Tuckey, who has recently been instructed by Dawson, said she wanted to press ahead with her application.

The issue involved her mental health and difficulties withdrawing from drugs on the date of the plea, he said.

While aware both barristers had not been in the case for very long, the judge said no doubt when all the material was reviewed, they will sensibly advise their clients about the merits of the application.

She took no action over Tofield's bail breach.

Her barrister said her arrest had been a pre-emptive strike after police saw her in the CBD at five minutes to midnight when she was due to report to Ashfield police station by midnight.

The case was adjourned for mention on September 24.

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