'Fall from grace': Olympian sentenced in Toowoomba court
AN OLYMPIC gold medal winning diver's life had plummeted into drug addiction and homelessness, Toowoomba Magistrates Court has been told.
Chantelle Lee Newbery was on top of the world after winning gold at the 2004 Olympic Games and had been inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport's "Best of the Best" and was awarded the Order of Australia.
However, when her mother suffered breast cancer Newbery became her palliative carer which included administering her mother with morphine until she died in September 2012.
So distraught was she after the loss of her mother, Newbery started using the morphine that was left and soon became addicted, her solicitor Robert Burns told the court.
When the morphine ran out she was introduced to amphetamines and her life spiralled out of control.
"She lost her house, she lost her husband, she lost her children and she has lost her dignity," Mr Burns said.
"She has had a meteoric fall from grace."
Newbery, 41, had spent 13 days in custody before appearing in court to plead guilty to two counts of failing to appear in court and to another eight mainly shop-lifting offences committed in Brisbane and Toowoomba.
The mother of two sobbed intermittently as the details of her case were read to the court.
Mr Burns said his client had moved to Toowoomba to be closer to her children and to get her life back on track.
She had secured a lease to a home, was in the process of having a car registered and she was receiving counselling for her drug problem, he submitted.
Magistrate Viviana Keegan declared the 13 days pre-sentence custody as time served and sentenced Newbery to three months in jail but ordered she be released on parole immediately.
Seven other shop-lifting type charges Newbery is facing arising from alleged incidents in the Brisbane area were transferred to the Brisbane Magistrates Court for mention on December 10.