A Conder man accused of supplying heroin to a 20-year-old woman who died at the Australian Catholic University’s Watson campus in April has pleaded guilty to two charges of drug supply.
Brooklyn Armstrong Beattie, age 22, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on 31 May and pleaded guilty to the charge of sale or supply of heroin and diazepam.
Beattie was charged over the alleged sale or supply of a prohibited substance and a declared substance to nursing student Elana Gaiyich. They met on the dating app Tinder around a week before her death on 10 April. Ms Gaiyich had only been living and studying in the ACT for about two months.
According to the statement of facts tendered to the ACT Magistrates Court, Beattie and Ms Gaiyich “grew closer given their mutual acceptance for their respective [drug] habits” while speaking on Tinder. The relationship became sexual shortly after the two first met.
“The deceased told the defendant about her drug use and expressed frustration that no one in the ACT was wild like she was in terms of her drug use … The defendant told the deceased that he was a heavy heroin user and had been for a long time.” The statement said he also drank heavily and at odd times of the day.
The statement said that Ms Gaiyich had been struggling with her mental health and had been prescribed medications as treatment. She also requested that Beattie supply her with Valium (diazepam).
On Friday, 7 April, Beattie and Ms Gaiyich “began a long weekend of drug taking” at the defendant’s home in Greenway, which was when “the deceased insisted she try heroin as the Valium was not having the effect she desired”. She smoked a small amount of heroin, “which she said she enjoyed “, and joked to Beattie she would “love him forever if he was able to supply her drugs”.
The following day, “the pair continued their drug taking”, and Ms Gaiyich again “insisted she take heroin, but wished to inject it so it would have a much stronger effect”.
Beattie “argued the point that she should not be injecting heroin after only taking it for such a short period, stating it was too dangerous”, the statement said.
On Monday, 10 April, Beattie and Ms Gaiyich planned to stay at her accommodation at the ACU as the defendant was in the process of moving out. That afternoon, Ms Gaiyich requested Beattie come over and bring Valium and heroin. When he arrived, “the defendant noticed the deceased smelt of alcohol and that she was intoxicated”, although he could not recall how much had been consumed.
The defendant supplied Ms Gaiyich with Valium pills and later that evening they began taking heroin. The defendant described the portion as “tiny”. About 20 minutes later, Ms Gaiyich “became very drowsy and lay in bed”, with Mr Beattie suspecting she had fallen asleep after hearing her snore loudly. While she was sleeping, she vomited and, in a panic, Beattie “began trying to empty [her] mouth”. He was unable to wake her as she was, at this point, unconscious.
Beattie “considered calling an ambulance but was concerned about the ramifications for the deceased in relation to the ACU”. He decided to source Narcan and administered it to her in the form of a nasal spray. When he returned, “the deceased’s eyes were partially open and motionless … and she had stopped breathing”. He called triple-zero for assistance and was instructed to perform CPR. An ambulance then arrived.
Paramedics received a call for assistance at about 9:45 pm that night but were unable to revive the woman, an ACT Policing spokesperson said at the time.
Beattie has not been charged with causing the death of the student, who was living in the Blackfriars residence in Watson. His sentencing is due to take place on 21 June.
If this story has raised concerns for you, drug and alcohol support services are available across the ACT. Visit Canberra Health Services for further information.