Fallen glamour lawyer in bid to resurrect career
A Gold Coast lawyer in jail for drug trafficking is desperately trying to salvage her career.
Briana Ioannides was a bright and talented young criminal lawyer whose life spiralled spectacularly out of control in a world of drugs and crime before she was eventually sentenced to eight years' jail in 2018.
Eligible for parole in February, Ioannides has reportedly become a model prisoner, leading fitness classes for inmates at Numinbah Correctional Centre and working in a program training assistance dogs for war veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
She is now trying to convince the Legal Services Commissioner that she should not be deregistered as a solicitor and has taken the case to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In pleading her case, Ioannides wrote that her drug addiction had consumed and destroyed everything she had worked so hard to achieve.
She was diagnosed with severe substance abuse disorder but had regained her health behind bars and is an enthusiastic volunteer for the Defence Community Dogs program uniting companion animals with returned military personnel.
Representing Ioannides, leading Gold Coast lawyer Chris Hannay said she had turned her life around and deserved a shot at redemption in the legal fraternity.
"She was a model citizen and an outstanding young lawyer who got caught up in something she had never seen before and she deserves an opportunity to redeem herself," he said.
"People have overcome addiction to go on to become drug counsellors or advocates so there are numerous examples to show people can break the cycle and go on to achieve remarkable things."
A bright student at one of the Gold Coast's most prestigious schools, Ioannides went on to earn a double degree in law and commerce from Griffith University and a diploma in legal practice from Bond University.
She gained her passion for criminal law while taking part in Griffith University's Innocence Project, the movement to free wrongly-convicted prisoners inspired by the case of American boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter.
Ioannides fell in to a world of drug use and dealing after a relationship breakdown in 2015 and would go on to be busted six times in 10 months for more drug offences and breaching bail as her life completely unravelled.
In one raid, she was even found hiding in a cupboard.
She eventually pleaded guilty to almost 40 offences including trafficking, selling and possessing drugs.
The case is headed to QCAT for a directions hearing next month.
Originally published as Fallen glamour lawyer in bid to resurrect career