‘DAUGHTER OR DRUGS’: Bundy mum told to choose
"If you wish to choose drugs over your daughter, as many people do, and come before me then I will have no hesitation in sending you to prison and, if necessary, for a lengthy period of time."
Those were the words of Justice Graeme Crow as he sentenced a mum of three who was found with an array of drugs in her home.
Susan Jane Keighran, 42, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Supreme Court on Thursday to one count of possessing a dangerous drug in excess of two grams and possessing dangerous drugs.
The court heard police searched Keighran's Avoca home in March last year where they discovered various drugs.
5.599g of pure methamphetamine was found in nearly 10g of substance with a purity of 56.16 per cent.
21g or marijuana and one gram of marijuana seeds, 1.184g of cocaine and 0.467g of MDMA was also found in the home.
The drugs were found inside a black and white PVC tube hidden between the mattresses of a bed in the main bedroom and in a metal tin on a coffee table.
Inside a rubbish bin police found a $50 note attached to a duct taped package which contained an additional 95 $50 notes totalling $4750.
Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread told the court Keighran had a "recent" criminal history, recording her first offences at 40 years old.
Mr Whitbread said Keighran made admissions to police at the scene and that her plea came at an early opportunity.
The crown submitted that the possession of the drugs was for a commercial purpose.
Keighran's barrister James Godbolt told the court at the time of the offending his client was going through a "tumultuous" period.
He told the court Keighran had started a medical science degree but was unable to finish it after her partner was injured and she had to work to provide for her family.
Mr Godbolt said his client had turned to drugs as a "misguided way of coping" but could not provide evidence that she was currently drug free.
He said his client and her family lived in a "cash economy" which is why the large sum of money was found.
Mr Godbolt said the drugs were not packaged in normal quantities for commercial sale and no tick sheets or messages relating to drug transactions were found.
Justice Graeme Crow took into account Keighran's plea of guilty and that she made admissions to the offending at the scene.
He also took into account her "extremely limited" criminal history and personal circumstances.
Justice Crow described Keighran's case as somewhat "unusual".
"Most, but not all, of people seem to be introduced to these terrible drugs when they're 16, 17 or 18," he said.
"It's a drug young people seem to want to try because they think it's cool and it ends up ruining their life.
"But you, it seems, were a law-abiding citizen for the first 40 years of your life."
He said Keighran made a "huge mistake" in turning to drugs and told her she would need to choose between the drugs and raising her daughter.
"You ought to know that in the future you will have some tumultuous and difficult periods in your life, we all do," he said.
"If you make the grave error of going back to using these highly addictive drugs then your future will be plain. You will be going to prison and someone else will be raising your daughter. When she needs you," he said.
"Quite simply Ms Keighran, you will choose to love, support and raise your daughter or you will choose drugs.
"You will not have both."
Justice Crow said he was satisfied the drugs were possessed for some commercial purpose.
Keighran was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an immediate parole release.
A serious drug offence certificate was also issued.