5 kids left in lurch as dad jailed, mum guilty of drug supply
THE FUTURE care of five children is uncertain after their father was sent to jail in January and mother found guilty yesterday of supplying 'hillbilly heroin'.
Tracey Lee Taylor, 35, was found guilty of one count of supplying morphine in the form of Oxy-Contin tablets, also known as hillbilly heroin, after a trial in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court.
The court heard the police 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, her dealer was Taylor.
The admission came after police executed a search warrant on the witness's Mt Morgan home on September 28 where they found morphine.
Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said the witness made immediate admissions and, despite knowing she would still be charged with drug possession, gave police as much information as she could about her dealer.
Defence lawyer Axel Beard argued the information about the dealer was not enough to convict his client beyond a reasonable doubt with the charge of supplying a dangerous drug.
The court heard the witness gave the name of 'Stacey', a phone number and that 'Stacey' recently purchased a shiny new red car.
Taylor admitted she had purchased a SSV Holden Commodore that was maroon/red on September 21 - days before police were given her name and executed a search warrant at her residence, finding a box of morphine tablets in the kitchen drawer.
Taylor said the tablets belonged to her partner, Darren Festa, who suffered from degeneration of the spine and had been bedridden in the past.
"He has major pain," she said.
She claimed the tablets were locked in a medicine cabinet and only Mr Festa had the key to protect the five children living in the house.
Taylor claimed while Mr Festa was bedridden, a Blue Care nurse administered the morphine, and she had only been given the key on very rare occasions. However, photographs from the search show the tablets were in drawer with no lock.
Mr Beard argued the witness had randomly picked a Mt Morgan resident to "point the finger at".
However, Mr Fox said the details the drug user was able to provide straight after being caught with drugs herself and she was also able to correctly name Taylor's partner by his first name suggested otherwise.
Magistrate Jeff Clark said he had no problem with the witness identifying Taylor correctly as her supplier from May to September in 2016 and accepting her evidence.
Taylor's criminal history included sentences for producing marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of weapons.
She was on parole at the time of the supply morphine offence. The matter was adjourned until Thursday for sentencing and Taylor was remanded in custody.
The court heard Mr Festa's cousin and her partner were currently taking care of the five children aged five to 18, who were in the back of the court after Taylor was found guilty.
Mr Beard has argued for no actual prison time to be served due to difficulties of providing care for the children.