Cult deserter granted bail in drug case

The Age Online/May 13, 2005
By Angela O'Connor

Sarah Moore, a woman who broke away from the 1980s cult "The Family", was granted bail yesterday while facing charges of forging dozens of prescriptions to feed her pethidine addiction.

Police allege Moore, 35, practised medicine after she was suspended as a doctor.

Ringwood Court heard yesterday there had been multiple breaches of bail including pethidine use and all offences related to use of the drug. Magistrate Nunzio La Rosa said bail was granted on condition that Moore reside at a Prahran drug rehabilitation centre. She is due to appear in Ringwood Court on June 21.

Police said Moore was facing charges of obtaining property by deception, forging medical prescriptions and creating false documents. Charges relate to forged prescriptions being presented at pharmacies in Melbourne and Wangaratta in March and April this year.

The Family was a religious group headed by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. It was alleged it imprisoned and abused dozens of children with harsh discipline, and beatings.The cult's Eildon property was raided in 1987 but no child abuse charges were laid against Ms Hamilton-Byrne.

Brad Newton, for Moore, said yesterday that his client was uncomfortable with the presence of members of The Family in court.

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