Magistrate slams mum's bid to use kids to avoid jail
A MAGISTRATE has slammed a woman for parading her five young children in the back of the court in a "vain attempt to try and escape full punishment".
Tracey Lee Taylor, 35, was being sentenced for supplying Oxy-Contin tablets, also known as 'hillbilly heroin', to a heavy drug user in Mt Morgan.
Taylor, a mother of five, had been found guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on June 26 after a trial.
Magistrate Jeff Clark made the 'vain attempt' comments on June 24, when he sentenced Taylor to a four-month prison term. She is eligible for parole on August 21.
"I was affronted on Monday that you brought in to court your children, including children as young as seven and five," Mr Clark said.
"To expose your own children to court experience demonstrates to me, perhaps once again, a vain attempt to try and escape full punishment by trying to somehow influence the court by the presence of the children in court.
"You need to be aware of the fact that not only it hasn't achieved that, it demonstrates to me that you are a particularly self-interested, self-centred person to put your children through that so as to obtain a better outcome for yourself."
Mr Clark continued to talk about the kind of example Taylor's actions and behaviour set for her children.
Defence lawyer Axel Beard had told the court prior to Mr Clark's sentence remarks that some of Taylor's children had behavioural problems recently, getting into trouble at school and had been suspended.
He also told the court if Taylor served actual time in custody, it was likely the family home would be repossessed.
Mr Beard submitted for a prison-term with immediate suspension.
Mr Clark said Taylor had continually made false denials about the allegations.
During the trial, the court heard the prosecution's witness had admitted to being a heavy drug user for the past five years and for a period of four months last year, Taylor was her dealer.
The witness gave police a name, a phone number and told them the dealer had recently purchased "a shiny new red car".
Mr Clark said other features leading to his decision included Taylor's extensive criminal history and that she was on parole at the time of committing this offence.
"This appears to be an escalation in your offending," he said.