LAST CHANCE: A notorious drug offender was granted immediate parole.
LAST CHANCE: A notorious drug offender was granted immediate parole.

Drug addict given one last chance at rehab

A WOMAN found with drugs multiple times over the course of a year, has been given one last chance to rehabilitate.

Michelle Evelyn Bezuidenhout pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court last Friday to 16 charges, including seven counts of possessing a dangerous drug, unlawful possession of controlled drugs, and failing to properly dispose of a needle and syringe.

At the time of the offending she was on a suspended sentence.

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On October 5, 2017, a property Bezuidenhout was renting was inspected and found with extensive damage to doors, burn marks on the kitchen top, graffiti on the walls, as well as a damaged window pane and panels.

The damage was estimated at $60,000 which the owners received an insurance payout for.

During police interviews, Bezuidenhout said the damage happened when she was in rehab for two weeks and she had teenage children who had friends in and out of the house.

Bezuidenhout’s drug offending started on June 15, 2019, when an ambulance was called to Harvey St, West Gladstone, in relation to a person slumped over a steering wheel.

Police attended and located a clipseal bag with 0.4g of methamphetamine and another clipseal bag with four capsules including valium, lyrica and panadeine forte with no script.

Bezuidenhout was found with drugs again on March 26, April 21, April 27 and July 3, the majority being small quantities of meth.

Her defence lawyer Lindsay Hall said this was consistent with someone who had a significant problem with addiction.

Mr Hall said Bezuidenhout was introduced to drugs when a former partner gave some to her, telling her the drug was No-Doz.

He said his client had every reason to rehabilitate as she had three children - two young ones in the care of her parents.

He said she had taken steps towards rehabilitation including being offered a place in a rehab centre.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey recognised Bezuidenhout had taken steps to rehabilitate and sending her to prison would be a “backwards step.”

He said her main priority should be to have her children returned to her.

“It’s a long road but you’ve started so best of luck to you,” Mr Manthey said.

Bezuidenhout was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with immediate parole and disqualified from driving for six months.

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