Child psychologist avoids prison after feeding opioid addiction with Bitcoin on dark web

After pleading guilty to using dark web to purchase drugs to feed her opioid addiction, a Sunshine Coast psychologist who specializes in children’s mental health has been released without any jail time.

  • Natasha Rosalie Hutchison, a psychiatrist, pleaded guilty to 29 charges related to buying restricted drugs
  • According to her lawyer, the 37-year old would face a “barrier” if she was trying to re-register as psychologist.
  • Police described the Mooloolaba woman’s Mooloolaba offending as’sophisticated and planned’

Natasha Rosalie Hutchison was wearing a COVID mask to cover her reaction to yesterday’s sentencing. However, her shoulders shaken as Magistrate Haydn Sjernqvist announced that she will not be going to jail.

The Maroochydore Magistrate’s Court saw a Mooloolaba woman in unusual clothes. She wore black velvet sweatpants, a grey long-sleeve sweatshirt and slip-on heels to make her guilty plea to 29 charges, including 22 counts of possessing drug.

Patrick Meehan, the solicitor, told the court that his client was still a registered psychoanalyst who had’stepped aside’ from practicing psychology after her offenses.

“She doesn’t intend to return in the short-term to practice,” Mr Meehan stated.

“She hopes to be a psychologist in the long-term as she enjoys helping people and the work of psychology.”

A court ruled that a person must be considered a “fit and proper person” to register as a psychologist.

According to Mr Meehan, his client was not going to reveal the court proceedings to him when it came to re-registering as a psychologist. However, a conviction would be a ‘barrier’ for her and could affect her financial situation if she is refused.

Mark Burrell, a police prosecutor, said that the 37-year old forged documents in order to open a postal box under another name and receive drugs such as morphine, diazepam (xanax), methadone, alprazolam, ketamine, and oxycodone.

He noted that Hutchison could face maximum penalties of up to 15 year for certain drug charges she was convicted of.

Burrell stated that Hutchison’s offense’reveals significant planning and sophistication.

He said that ‘[She] used another person’s information to obtain telecommunications and postal services to receive packages containing restricted drugs’.

“She had to create an authorisation document that included the signature using a computer to accomplish this.

“It was noted that 14 parcels were delivered by Australia Post to the parcel locker where the fraudulent names were used.”

He claimed that a mobile phone and computer that she used to purchase the restricted drugs was discovered in Hutchison’s bra during searches.

According to Mr Meehan, his client has no criminal record and has completed treatment for long-standing addiction to opioids in the Gold Coast.

Hutchison claimed that Hutchison developed a dependence on painkillers after a series of New Zealand injuries, including an injury to his ankle and a bulging spine disc.

Two references were submitted by Mr Meehan from Hutchison’s family, one from her mother, who had traveled from New Zealand to be with her daughter in courtroom.

When he sentenced her, Magistrate Stjernqvist mentioned Hutchison’s lack of criminal record and rehabilitation. He also fined her $1,000 and she was released without any conviction.

Hutchison was warned by him not to be dishonesty again, and to stop ‘lying about the process here today’ as she applied for future jobs.