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from – www.dailytelegraph.com.au – THE Penthouse Pet accused of masterminding a drug syndicate claims she is unfit to face trial on drug importation charges.
Simone Farrow yesterday afternoon appeared in the Downing Centre District Court where her lawyers argued her addiction to the prescription anti-anxiety drug Xanax and potential “psychosis” meant she was unfit.
Ms Farrow, also known as Simone Cheung, 37, has been accused of peddling “ice” hidden in bath salts from her Sunset Boulevarde apartment in Hollywood.
She has been charged with importing 13g of ice into Australia from the US. If found guilty she faces up to 25 years in jail.
Prosecutors allege Farrow was the brains behind a criminal syndicate which imported the drug into the country using shipping company Fedex. The parcels were intercepted by police in September and October 2009 and Farrow arrested on October 9, 2009.
Her trial was due to begin on January 29 , however it is on hold until Judge Stephen Walmsley decides whether she should stand trial.
He will hand down his decision next month.
The prosecutor told the court that a report by psychiatrist Stephen Allnut said a “Xanax dependency” could cause her to lapse into unconsciousness.
Xanax is used to treat anxiety or depression.
The doctors and psychiatrists treating Ms Farrow have not been given any blood tests to determine whether she is dependent on any prescription or illegal drugs.
Judge Walmsley has ordered Ms Farrow to submit to weekly “supervised” urine tests to ensure she does not try to “switch samples”.
He declined the prosecutions request that she give a blood test, saying they could be “quite a frightening experience”.
Last year Ms Farrow was convicted of faking a doctors’ certificate so she could flee to Queensland. She was on the run for a month until she was found hiding out in a Gold Coast motel room.
As part of her bail conditions she has agreed to live in a Surry Hills unit, with boyfriend Trent Vereker. She also spends some time at the home of her step-father, barrister Anthony Renshaw.
If she is found fit to stand trial, it will begin within months. However if she is found unfit, she will be given treatment with the hope her health improves within a year and can then face trial.
The case returns to court on March 20.