‘Wrote himself off’: Why lawyer had drugs
A CRIMINAL lawyer who dropped a bag of cocaine while working at a Brisbane courthouse will undertake 80 hours of community service after his defence barrister told a court he "wrote himself off" on a night out before the incident, as a result of family tragedy.
In August, Cullen Lawyers director Corey Cullen dropped a clip-seal bag containing around 1.4 grams of cocaine while exiting Brisbane Magistrates Court.
He was later charged with possession of a dangerous drug and pleaded guilty to the offence inside the same Brisbane court today.
Cullen's barrister, Angus Edwards, today told the court the 29-year-old has endured "more than his fair share of stresses" and had tried to "write himself off" with drugs and alcohol on a night out before dropping the drugs.
"He has had tragedies in his life and additional stresses in his life well beyond those of your average solicitor," he said.
Mr Edwards said Cullen's brother had tragically drowned in an overseas accident in July of 2015.
"That time of year, late July into August is still an extremely stressful time for Mr Cullen and his family," Mr Edwards said.
"This offending took place around a month after the fourth anniversary of his brother's death."
Mr Edwards also told the court the 2016 bankruptcy of Cullen's family's construction company, Cullen Group, and the police raids on his previous workplace, high-profile law firm Lawler Magill, had some mental impact on his client.
He said Cullen had turned to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope.
"He went out, wrote himself off on alcohol and used drugs," Mr Edwards said.
"Now he doesn't own 365 suits, one for each day, so he put on the suit he had been wearing, forgot that there were drugs in the pocket and went to work … and so it was that they fell out of his pocket at work.
"He never intended to take the drugs at work. He doesn't use drugs as part of his work."
Outside court Cullen said he made a stupid mistake and was "embarrassed and ashamed."
"I did the wrong thing, I put up my hand and admit that. It was a one off and I've learnt my lesson," he said.
"This has taken a huge toll on my family and that's what hurts me the most …. I hope I can now put this behind me and move forward with my life."
Cullen was ordered to serve 80 hours of community service and had no conviction recorded.