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Julie Ann Rothwell, 56, of Elliott Heads, wasted $30,000 inheritance on Methamphetamine

March 22, 2017

HER dying brother hoped she would spend the $30,000 he left her as a deposit on a piece of land, but instead Julie Ann Rothwell squandered it on the “evil trade” of methamphetamine dealing.

The Bundaberg News Mail report that the 56-year-old Elliott Heads woman has been handed a six-year jail term after pleading guilty to trafficking and possessing more than 24g of pure meth.

The Bundaberg Supreme Court heard on Monday that it was Rothwell’s grief at losing her brother to skin cancer that propelled her back into the world of drugs.

When police stopped her car at Elliott Heads on July 6 last year they found $2525 in cash and a strip search revealed six clip-seal bags of drugs hidden in her panties, along with a set of digital scales.

A search of her property found $12,500 in cash in a concealed safe as well as more drugs, bringing the total weight to 33.7g.

The purity of the drug was between 68% and 76%, which meant Rothwell had more than 24g of pure methamphetamine.

Tick sheets and money transfer records totalling $33,500 were also found.

Defense barrister Callan Cassidy said his client had battled addiction in the past but had also spent significant periods drug free, showing she could contribute to society.

Previously working as a registered nurse in aged care in Brisbane, Mr Cassidy said his client had suffered a traumatic experience in 2008 when she informed her ex-partner she was moving to Bundaberg to care for her mother.

Mr Cassidy said her ex-partner had put Rothwell’s head in a wooden vice before fleeing the country.

Workmates raised the alarm when Rothwell failed to turn up to work three days later.

After moving to Elliott Heads, Rothwell worked in the agriculture industry but, Mr Cassidy said, she fell back into drug use when her brother fell ill in November 2015.

In sentencing Justice Duncan McMeekin said it was clear from the records police found that Rothwell had “been very busy over a couple of months in this evil trade”.

But he said her grief at the loss of her brother had been “misapplied” and she took up drug trafficking, which just extended the misery to others.

Rothwell was sentenced six years jail for trafficking as well as a number of lesser concurrent terms for drug possession and a range of summary offences.

She will eligible for parole from July 5 next year.