Mum claims drug trafficking was to help partner's addiction

A BARGARA mother of six who was involved in the "evil trade" of trafficking and producing dangerous drugs claims she did it only to support her partner's drug addiction.

The 46-year-old woman pleaded guilty yesterday in Bundaberg Supreme Court to 12 charges including two of trafficking dangerous drugs, four of producing methylamphetamine and one of unlawfully supplying drugs to a 15-year-old girl.

Kathryn Emily Leche, who has been in custody since May 27 last year, had a large number of supporters in court at the sentencing, where Defence Barrister Carl Heaton QC detailed her upbringing.

He he said she had been "denied that close loving relationship that others might enjoy with their parents".

He said Leche eventually became involved with a man who displayed "intimate love and affection before her" but had a drug addiction which he was no longer able to fuel when he lost his job.

"Out of a misguided, perhaps, sense of wanting to please him and make him happy and keep him happy, she did her best to accommodate that," Mr Heaton said of Leche beginning her involvement in producing and trafficking methylamphetamine and trafficking cannabis on dates between 2012 and 2013.

The court heard that since Leche's arrest 284 days ago, her 20-year-old daughter had been left to look after three children aged 11, 13 and a disabled 15 year old.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said Leche trafficked drugs over a period of about 15 months, during which time she sold drugs to a range of people including marijuana to a 15-year-old girl and other drugs to undercover police officers.

Mr Cummings said Leche's income from the drug business ranged between $200 and $1000 a week and she was believed to have made about $30,000 during the period of criminal activity. She even spent $8000 on a car with more than $13,000 cash found in her home.

"It's a matter of choice what she's done," he said.

Leche was sentenced to concurrent jail terms of five and seven years and will be eligible for parole on November 30.

"You've been part of what we often describe as an evil trade," Justice Duncan McMeekin told Leche.

"The outcome on the family is unfortunate but Miss Leche brought this on herself.

"You have effectively shattered the happiness of your family by ending up where you are. You are the one who made the decision to engage in crime and you are the one who must bear the blame."

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