Lawyers for former QH indigenous health care worker Pandela Carmel Salmon claim the acts were committed when she was deeply depressed at work – from alleged bullying – and suffering rare side effects of prescription medication.
Prosecutor Andrew Lossberg told the Brisbane District Court Salmon lured the boys into sex after alcohol and drug-fuelled parties at her Kallangur home, north of Brisbane, more than four years ago.
Mr Lossberg said that the morning after a night of sex Salmon told one boy: “This could be our little secret. Whenever you want some (more sex) you can come here and get it.”
Barrister James Benjamin, for Salmon, said his client’s elevated libido and outrageous flirting was the result of a drug-induced “mania” or “hypo-mania” caused by medication to treat depression.
Salmon, 46, was yesterday given 2½ years’ probation, with no criminal conviction recorded against her, after pleading guilty to four counts of unlawful carnal knowledge with a child under 16 between April 4 and 25, 2009.
The court was told the non-recording of a conviction would make it easier for Salmon to regain employment after QH terminated her on “erroneously” learning she had earlier pleaded guilty to the offences.
Mr Lossberg said Salmon, then aged 42, had sex with the first boy, then aged 15½, after a Friday night party where alcohol and marijuana was readily available.
He said the teenage boy had gone to sleep on a lounge, but Salmon woke him for sex.
Mr Lossberg said the 14-year-old boy was invited to Salmon’s bed under similar circumstances.
He said the pair had sex while another boy slept in the bed next to them, and moved to the backyard to continue having sex so as not to wake him.
Mr Benjamin said Salmon’s behaviour changed dramatically once she began taking mood-altering prescription drugs to treat her depression.
The court was told even Salmon’s daughter noted her mother “turned into a rebellious 18-year-old who acted like a tart” while taking the drugs.
Judge John McGill, in sentencing, said he accepted the offences were committed as a result of “rare and unexpected” side effects of the prescription medication she had taken.