Model’s ‘mangled wreck of an existence’ sparked by drug use
A former pro fitness model's "wonderful" life devolved in a "mangled wreck of an existence" after she began using drugs while partying in the Gold Coast nightclub scene.
International body sculpting competitor Samantha Jane Heron, 32, was caught with commercial quantities of a "cocktail of drugs" including cocaine, ice and GHB when police raided her friend's home in June 2019.
Heron pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to four charges of possessing dangerous drugs and one count of possessing a relevant substance.
Crown Prosecutor Sarah Kingston said Heron was caught with more than 70 grams of drugs in her handbag and car including 14 grams of pure cocaine, 21 grams of meth and 14.3 grams of the party drug GHB.
"The aggravating features in this include the commercial element … as well as the array of drugs that were located in the possession of the defendant," she said.
"Cocaine is addictive, methylamphetamine in particular is highly addictive and causes significant health and social problems to users.
"Not only that but it does cause a flow on affect where users commit other offences to fund their habit in many cases.
Defence barrister Martin Longhurst said Heron had been a successful young woman before she began using drugs including ice while partying in the Gold Coast nightclub scene from 2014.
"She was a high achiever she was well respected in the community, she excelled in athletics," he said.
"She was living quite a well regimented life, she was a body sculptor, she went to world championships overseas."
Mr Longhurst said Heron, who was now a cleaner and lived with her mother in central Queensland, became heavily involved with using drugs.
"For some people it might be difficult to understand how someone like you ends up where you are right now and when I say someone like you who was at least until the age of 25, as your mother puts it 'always on top of everything'," Justice Peter Callaghan said.
"It's not as difficult for someone sitting where I am because we see it all time.
"Drugs and particularly drugs in the amphetamine family can turn a wonderful life like the one you had into a mangled wreck of an existence."
He said that was why the court took a particularly strong stand against those who were involved with the distribution of drugs.
"That is what you did even if you weren't dealing in the conventional sense of the word," he said.
"The things you did meant the drugs you were handling were going to be spread and that means that the misery they cause was going to be spread as well.
"That misery now is… so much more acute these days because of purity and availability of the drug and it is a misery that destroys lives."
Justice Callaghan said Heron was blessed to have the strong support of her mother, who was present in court.
"And even while she wears a mask, I can see the pain on her face that she is feeling because of what you have done and where you have brought yourself and brought her," he said.
"I am going to give you the opportunity to reward her faith in you."
Heron was sentenced to three years' imprisonment with immediate parole release.
Originally published as Fitness model's 'mangled wreck of an existence' sparked by drug use