TEEN drug user Tyson Ellis supplied ice and cannabis in 17 deals to 11 people - but walked into the arms of friends and family on immediate parole on an 18-month jail sentence yesterday.
Relieved at his close call with a jail cell, Ellis celebrated outside the Gladstone courthouse.
The 18-year-old pleaded guilty before Judge Douglas McGill SC to 17 counts of supplying dangerous drugs in February last year.
Prosecutor Sandra Cupina said police found text messages on Ellis's mobile phone relating to deals of methylamphetamine (ice), cannabis and acid.
Although Ellis made no admissions, Ms Cupina said 5.5g of ice had been offered or sold by him in 21 days with a potential street value of $3450.
Defence barrister Tom Polley said Ellis was then 17, in what was "a sad tale"; had been using ecstasy, and then got hooked on ice after his supplier ran out and offered ice.
"He had it once and from that point onwards felt he couldn't live without it," Mr Polley said.
"It was a quick downhill spiral using it daily. He'd had close to $20,000 in the bank and belongings but lost it all.
"He was 53kg at the time police arrested him. Now (he) weighs 76kg. He has gained over 20kg since he quit using methamphetamines."
Since he returned home to live, his parents have been using kits to drug test him.
Judge McGill noted Ellis had a "difficult upbringing" after his parents separated, although they have since re-united and remarried.
"There is no alternative but jail but in view of your young age, early plea of guilty and rehabilitation efforts you are already making I propose an immediate parole release date," he said.
He took into account Ellis had breached a previous probation order and sentenced him to six months and 18 months jail (concurrent), then ordered his immediate release on parole.
Judge McGill warned him, stay off drugs or go to jail.