Tragic reason jailed Bowen mum spiralled into drug addiction
A Bowen mother has been told she is a prime example of how drugs can ruin your life as she was sentenced to time behind bars.
Police led Melissa Jean Abbott away to jail at Bowen Magistrates Court on Tuesday after she was caught driving with meth in her system in December.
Lawyer Cleo Rewald explained the tragic reason the Bowen woman began using drugs in the first place.
Ms Rewald said in 2012, Abbott lost her partner and the father of her children to suicide.
"It was something she was very much caught off guard and she had four children to raise on her own," Ms Rewald said.
Ms Rewald said after that Abbott fell into a "significant" drug addiction.
The court heard Abbott, 43, was offered ice once and had battled with drug use ever since.
Ms Rewald said Abbott's addiction was not a secret and her family was supporting her as best they could.
Ms Rewald told the court Abbott had been employed in aged care in the past, before stepping away to raise her children, and it proved she could be a contributing member of society.
Abbott pleaded guilty to drug-driving, which was an offence she committed while on a suspended jail sentence.
When Magistrate James Morton asked Abbott how much she had spent on drugs, she replied it would total thousands of dollars.
Mr Morton said Abbott was still dealing with the loss of her partner, but her actions were also affecting her children.
"You are a clear example of how drugs can ruin somebody's life," Mr Morton said.
"Your downfall is bringing (your children) down as well.
"Tonight you are not going to be at home sitting at the table having dinner with them."
Mr Morton said Abbott "continually" broke the law through drug offending.
"I accept sending you to jail is not going to fix you, but it gives you a message and deterrent aspect," Mr Morton said.
"You need to go and get another reminder of what you are required to do as a mother and a member of the community.
"The only person who can stop your drug offending is you."
Abbott's suspended jail sentence was activated and she ended up with a total sentence of five months' jail.
She was given a parole release date of March 8 and was also disqualified from driving for six months.
"Stop hanging out with the drug users and go and be a mother to your children," Mr Morton said before police led Abbott away.
"They do not need to lose two parents."