Before being slapped with 21 charges including drug trafficking, Lesley Jane Brooks spent 50 years of her life without offending.
Before being slapped with 21 charges including drug trafficking, Lesley Jane Brooks spent 50 years of her life without offending. Contributed

What drove this grandma to a life of crime after 50?

A CENTRAL Queensland grandmother has been sentenced to a four-year prison term after being slapped with 21 charges including drug trafficking.

Before being charged, Lesley Jane Brooks spent 50 years without offending.

The Supreme Court in Rockhampton on Friday heard Brooks's traumatic life included being abused as a child, being in two violent relationships and raising her three children on her own while working two to three jobs.

Brooks pleaded guilty to charges including one of trafficking a dangerous drug, one of possessing more than two grams of a dangerous drug, six charges of possessing a dangerous drug, two charges of possessing property obtained by supplying a dangerous drug, three of property used in selling drugs, one of obstructing a police officer, one of restricted drug possession and four of possess utensils.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said the 55-year-old repeatedly re-offended and continued to supply drugs while on bail.

Justice Graeme Crow said this was "a lot of offending".

Brooks's charges were laid as part of a major drug syndicate bust in Emerald that resulted in 36 people being charged between November 2016 and November 2017.

Police targeted Michael Winbank, intercepting his phone, which led to more arrests.

Over the course of the whole operation, police seized more than 100g of methamphetamine, 250 MDMA pills and tablets, about 7kg of cannabis, and over a number of days about 10g of amphetamines and similar amounts of cannabis.

Brooks's offending took place between June 5, 2017 and August 31, 2017 when she was a street-level dealer in marijuana and methamphetamines with 18 customers.

On July 12, 2017, she was intercepted for an RBT with police finding five clipseal bags with meth and three with marijuana in her centre console, along with $3140 in cash and digital scales.

When police raided her home on August 30, they found 10 mobile phones, 13 sim cards, four diazepam tablets, less than a gram of meth, a water pipe and a grinder.

They then went across the road to Brooks's daughter's home where Brooks had been when police arrived, finding 2.04g of meth, some cannabis and a glass pipe in a pencil case.

She was remanded in custody and granted bail on October 16, but was back in custody on November 2 after police raided her home again and found less than a gram of meth hidden in a chapstick container.

Defence barrister Scott Lynch said Brooks was socialising with people her own age before her life unravelled.

"She was at a party with others who were of similar age and was asked how she coped (with her life struggles)," he said.

"She was offered some of these drugs and became addicted soon after.

"This (methamphetamines) is horribly difficult to get off."

Mr Lynch said after her first conviction, Brooks lost her job at the hospital.

"There was a downturn (in Emerald) and she lost her other job," he said.

Justice Crow sentenced Brooks to a four-year prison term, declared 378 days pre-sentence custody with parole eligibility on November 27, 2018.