HE FELL into a toxic downward spiral of drugs, and copped abuse from his alcoholic father, but Dale Thomas Robertson was praised for being the "father figure" of his family.
Robertson, 25, endured a turbulent upbringing that tested his resilience, a Rockhampton court heard.
He pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to a string of drug charges including unlawfully supplying methamphetamine and possessing a mobile phone to commit a crime.
The court heard Robertson grew up in Townsville until he was 15 years old. Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said Robertson and his older brother were constantly abused by their alcoholic father.
Their mother was a habitual methamphetamine user.
These influences caused Robertson to start dabbling in drugs, mainly cannabis, at the age of 14.
The court heard during Year 10 of school, Robertson dropped out and started working at a fish and chip shop to help his mother pay the bills.
"You, in essence, become the man of the house... that is an admirable feature and tells of your very strong character," Judge Helen Bowskill told Robertson.
When things got too rough, Robertson's mother packed up and moved her family to the Sunshine Coast, the court heard.
When he reached the age of 18, Robertson fell into his mother's habit: taking methamphetamine.
In 2008, Robertson stopped taking methamphetamine because of the birth of his first child to his now ex-partner. The court heard that after four years, Robertson slowly found his way back to methamphetamine use.
In October 2013, Robertson's partner at the time, and the mother of his two children, told him she was taking the kids to the park.
She did not return. Since then, Robertson hasn't seen his children.
Robertson moved back in with his mother, who was still heavily using drugs.
The court heard that in April last year, while his mother was sick, a text message came through to Robertson's mum's mobile phone asking her for 0.11g of methamphetamine.
Mr Ahlstrand said Robertson's ill mother instructed her son to "go and do it".
The court heard Robertson made arrangements to get $200 cash from the customer for the methamphetamine.
Days after the deal, police officers raided Robertson's mother's home and found an array of drug items.
Judge Bowskill acknowledged Robertson was "the middle man" for his mother; and acknowledged his efforts to support his family when he was 14.
"You have it in you to overcome this," Judge Bowskill said.
"These events of your past don't have to define you... I can tell you have a strong character."
Robertson planned on living with his aunt in Hervey Bay. He is also determined to be reunited with his children.
He was remanded in custody on April 16 of last year. Judge Bowskill declared the 331 days he was remanded as time served. He was released on parole.
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