Tina Thanh Truc Phan was arrested with 394 capsules of MDMA concealed inside her body
An aspiring nurse has claimed she tried to smuggle 394 ecstasy capsules into a music festival by concealing them in condoms inside her body so she could help her family.
Tina Thanh Truc Phan pleaded guilty to supplying a prohibited drug when she faced Burwood Local Court on Thursday.
The 18-year-old, from Canley Heights, was arrested at the Knockout Games of Destiny festival at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday, December 8.
The event was billed as the biggest indoor festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and ended in tragedy.
Callum Brosnan, 19, from Baulkham Hills, was found having a ‘fit’ at a western Sydney train station near the festival and taken to hospital about 1.30am on Sunday.
He died just hours later.
Phan, from Canley Heights, completed Year 12 last year, shortly before she attempted to smuggle 394 ecstasy capsules into a music festival in western Sydney. She avoided prison
Tina Phan, 18, has been accepted into a nursing degree at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is also a keen Oztag player and was a cross country runner in high school
Phan attempted to disguise herself when she fled Burwood Local Court on Thursday (pictured)
Lawyer Cheryl Khurana said her client had agreed to smuggle the drugs into the festival to financially help out her family.
It was an ‘extremely immature decision on her part’ and her entire family was shocked at her actions.
Phan had recently completed her Higher School Certificate and had been accepted into the University of Technology Sydney to study a bachelor of nursing.
‘She’s very proud of that achievement,’ Ms Khurana said.
Phan was a keen Oztag player and cross country runner who worked at Subway four nights a week and felt obligated to help her mother who had separated from her father after 21 years of marriage.
She had attended the festival with friends and accepted an offer from a mutual acquaintance to take the drugs in the venue for money.
‘She’s extremely remorseful and ashamed,’ Ms Khurana said.
When told Phan was just 18, magistrate Louise McManus said ‘dear me.’
The casual Subway worker said she agreed to smuggle drugs to make money for her family
The aspiring nurse (pictured leaving Burwood Court) was arrested at the Knockout Games of Destiny festival at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday, December 8
She was further perplexed that Phan was an accomplished sportswomen who wanted to study nursing.
‘The irony is there for everyone to see,’ Ms McManus said.
‘Having 394 capsules of MDMA concealed internally is not just immature.
‘It is a serious criminal offence and a deliberate act.
‘I don’t accept she did it because of financial difficulties in the family.’
Drug detection dog Ree (pictured) located 394 ecstasy capsules on Tina Phan, 18
Phan festival plan can unstuck at 4.35pm when drug detection dog Ree indicated she was carrying drugs. She admitted the offence straight away.
‘Police escorted the accused to a designated searching area and conducted a search to which she complied with,’ a statement of facts tendered to court said.
‘During the search police asked the accused to remove the unknown item which was concealed internally and she handed it to police.
‘Police asked the accused what the item was and she stated that they’re capsules.’
A package had been concealed by condoms and tissues.
‘Police opened the package and revealed one clear resealable bag and within the bag was one smaller clear resealable bag,’ the statement of facts said.
‘Police counted the capsules with a total of 394 MDMA capsules.’
In sentencing Phan to a 12-month community correction order including 80 hours of community service Ms McManus noted the recent festival deaths by overdose.
‘I find it very hard to believe that anybody in this day and age doesn’t understand the risks of supplying and taking drugs at music festivals,’ she said.
‘And yet again we’ve seen people dying.’
Phan believed the drugs were MDMA but in reality they ‘could be anything’.
Callum Brosnan, 19, from Baulkham Hills, was found having a ‘fit’ at a western Sydney train station (pictured) near the festival and taken to hospital. He died just hours later
NSW Police arrested 62 people who were found to be in possession of drugs at the dance rave (pictured)
‘What you did was not just immature and a silly mistake. It was a criminal act that put people at risk,’ Ms McManus said.
‘These capsules were internally concealed which in my view means there was real premeditation.’
Ms McMamus said she hoped Phan could continue with nursing.
‘What is best is if you give back to the community.’
Sixteen revellers had to be taken to hospital and three were placed in induced comas after suffering suspected overdoses at the Knockout Games of Destiny festival.
About 130 partygoers sought medical treatment.
The event attracted 18,000 ‘hardstyle’ electronic music fans to watch performers including Head Hunterz, Psyko Punkz and Radical Redemption.
A spate of recent fatal overdoses at music festivals has led to a debate about whether pill testing should be provided at such events.
Knockout Games of Destiny owner Peter Finley had vowed his festival would be safe.
‘We have plenty of ambulances and medics and stuff, we go above and beyond any other company in this country in terms of safety,’ Mr Finley said on social media.
‘We’ve got you covered, if anything’s wrong with you we have the medics there at the very back of the arena.’
The Knockout Games of Destiny event attracted 18,000 ‘hardstyle’ electronic music fans to watch performers including Head Hunterz, Psyko Punkz and Radical Redemption
NSW Police later said 62 people were found in possession of drugs at the event.
Jonathan Carey-Spence, 25, was also allegedy found with 145 capsules of ecstasy at the festival.
He was charged with supplying and possessing a prohibited drug.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Phan or Carey-Spence supplied drugs to Mr Brosnan or anyone else who overdosed at the event.
Last month Joshua Tam, 22, died after a suspected overdose after attending the Lost Paradise festival on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Joseph Pham, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21, died after attending Defqon.1 at Penrith in Sydney’s west in September.
A spate of recent fatal overdoses at music festivals has led to a debate about whether pill testing should be provided at such events