Justice tells Coast drug ring mum meth is "destroying lives"

A MOTHER and reformed drug addict who got caught up in one of the Sunshine Coast's biggest meth trafficking rings has been spared jail.

This is after Justice Martin Daubney found the woman's turn-around was the most remarkable he had seen in his 10 years on the bench.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard Julie-Anne Freier, 37, checked herself into residential rehab immediately after being arrested during Operation Mike Tyras, a police sting that took down a $700,000 coast drug network in July, 2015.

Freier had been a driver for the trafficking ring leader, organising pick-ups from the supplier and deliveries to the businesses' 25 wholesale customers.

She was said to have fallen in love with career criminal during her first failed attempt at rehab several years ago. It was her new partner who introduced her to the alleged dealer she eventually began working for.

Stripped of her children and facing serious jail time - her former house mate and fellow drug runner was sentenced last December to at least two years behind bars - Freier signed herself into a strict rehabilitation centre where she stayed for the next nine and a half months.

She remained clean after her release, continued to go through the 12 steps with Narcotics Anonymous and her children were returned to her.

Several rows of seats in the court gallery were filled with Freier's supporters including women she had met and become friends with during her stint in rehab.

When Justice Daubney said he would not be sending her to jail the crowd clapped, cheered and cried for her as she broke down sobbing in the dock.

"I'm not here to give you a sermon...meth is a really, really bad drug, I don't need to tell you that," Justice Daubney said

"But today isn't just about you.

"While meth was buggering up your life, the meth you were distributing was buggering up other people's lives.

"It is an insidious drug... it is wrecking families and literally destroying lives, destroying whole sectors of our community."

Later, during separate proceedings, Justice Daubney again remarked on Freier's efforts describing her story as "exceptional" and the only case he could think where an offender had truly rehabilitated themselves in the way "you hope to see".

Freier was sentenced to five years in jail, suspended immediately. She will also have to complete two years probation.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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