Meth mum sold drugs to pay off water bill

A TROUBLED Sunshine Coast mum who started using drugs when she was aged 9 has avoided jail for trafficking meth and marijuana.

Katelyn Alicia Chappell had lost her waitressing job at a Caloundra cafe and was struggling to provide for her three children when a foray into drug sales to pay off a water bill led to an ongoing business.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard Chappell was making up to $600 a week in meth sales. The marijuana she grew and sold was to support her own habit.

She was traced through calls to a local dealer whose phone was being recorded by police.

A search of her home uncovered four marijuana plants and a "tick sheet” of customers and the amount of money they owed.

Defence barrister Kate McMahon said her client had already cut ties with the dealer and stopped selling drugs before police came knocking.

She said if her client had not been so honest with police, they would not have had a strong case against her.

Chappell's childhood was said to have been marred by violence and alcohol abuse.

She tried marijuana aged nine and was addicted by the time she was 14.

She had her first child the following year and her second two years after that.

Ms McMahon said her client was clean, had held down a job for more than a year at a t-shirt printing company and recently secured a home at North Brisbane.

The court heard Chappell, who was now a mother of three, also had a long list of driving convictions.

Justice Jean Dalton said Chappell's traffic history suggested she either thought the law did not apply to her or did not understand that her actions had consequences.

But she said Chappell's co-operation with police was "impressive” and it was clear she had taken steps to get her life "in order”.

Chappell was sentenced to three years in jail but allowed immediate parole.

She must submit to random drug testing for the duration of the sentence.


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