Gladstone mum "corrupts" son, 14, by giving him marijuana
A GLADSTONE mother-of-two who supplied cannabis to her son, who was 14 at the time, is lucky to have avoided time behind bars.
Appearing before the Rockhampton Supreme Court this morning, the 36-year-old pleaded guilty to supplying a dangerous drug with a circumstance of aggravation - supplying cannabis to a minor under-16.
The court heard when the woman's son came into her care on Australia Day 2015 after living with his father, he was "not a first time user" and was already "familiar" with cannabis.
"It wasn't long before she became aware her son was using cannabis," defence solicitor Maree Willey told the court.
"She did essentially what was done with her (as a child), which was to say I am not happy about it… don't use it around me."
Ms Willey told the court when the woman gave her son the cannabis, on an unknown date between January 26 and September last year, it was essentially to "keep the peace" as she was struggling with his behaviour.
In handing down his sentence, Justice Duncan McMeekin reiterated the serious nature of the crime - which carries a maximum 25 year sentence - before recording a conviction and sentencing her to 18 months parole.
"I don't know what personal attitude you have towards drugs, but Parliament and the community takes it very seriously when adults corrupt youths," Justice McMeekin said.
"And quite frankly it's appalling when a mother corrupts her son."
Justice McMeekin condemned the woman's behaviour, highlighting the high number of youths who come through the court systems having started using marijuana at a young age.
"We see them every day in court, meth amphetamines, ecstasy and so on, they always say we started off with cannabis at home; mum and dad used it we thought it was normal.
"In five to ten years I will have this youngster before me on some wretched drug charge.
"We have to stop it, I don't know how."
The court heard of the woman's own drug use, which began at 13-years-old, starting with cannabis and later moving on to meth amphetamines at the age of 23.
A series of "disastrous relationships" followed, which the court heard had contributed to the woman's diagnosis with anxiety and depression.
Ms Willey told the court the woman resorted to cannabis use in times of stress and anxiety.
"We are dealing with a lady who hit rock bottom late 2014, and has struggled to come back from there," Ms Willey said.
Ms Willey told the court the woman's children were now living with her father, but she hoped to resolve the matter and have them in her care.
She was also convicted of three summary charges; possessing a utensil, possessing property used for a drug offence and possession of cannabis for offences on August 31 last year.
No further charges were laid.