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Former Queensland criminal lawyer Briana Ioannides teaches fitness at Numinbah Correctional Centre

A criminal lawyer turned drug dealer has transformed her life behind bars and is now a fitness fanatic who trains other inmates.

Briana Ioannides was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years’ jail in 2018 after pleading guilty to 21 charges including drugs and weapons offences. 

But the 31-year-old former criminal lawyer now leads fitness classes at Numinbah Correctional Centre in Queensland, and has been branded a model inmate. 

She also signed up to the Defence Community Dogs program where she trains dogs for war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Gold Coast Bulletin reported. 

Ioannides is now fighting her deregistration as a lawyer and wants to return to her career once she is released from jail.

She took her case to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal admitting that her drug addiction has ruined her life but had cleaned up her act in jail. 

‘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,’ her lawyer Chris Hannay 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. 

Ioannides was first arrested back in November 2015 after police raided her Gold Coast home and seized cash, a loaded sawn-off shotgun and a handgun, steroids and ice, cannabis, ecstasy and liquid ‘GBH.’ 

She was arrested again just a few weeks later after police found more drugs and paraphernalia at her home. 

In May 2016, she was among a group of bikini-clad women partying at a luxury apartment with an alleged bikie.

Ioannides was arrested after police allegedly found crystal meth, ecstasy tablets and evidence of a drug lab when they stormed the apartment. 

She was granted bail and she was ordered to go to rehab.   

Ioannides was then caught violating her bail conditions by staying out past her curfew and not reporting to police. 

In 2017, Ioannides and an accomplice were caught selling 442g of meth and 53 litres of GHB. 

Crown Prosecutor Susan Hedge previously told the Supreme Court that the woman had committed 23 offences including, driving while high on ice and failing to pull over for police while allegedly driving on a suspended licence.  

Ioannides will be eligible for parole in February 2021.  

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