Lauren Elizabeth Piccles will be eligible to apply for parole in April next year.
Lauren Elizabeth Piccles will be eligible to apply for parole in April next year.

Two-time ice trafficker pushes for early release

A TWO-time Mackay ice trafficker lost her fight for an earlier release date after the Queensland Court of Appeal rejected claims her latest jail term was too harsh.

Lauren Elizabeth Piccles - who has a drug history dating back 14 years - has already had "several opportunities" to remain in the community, each time flouting court orders with more offending.

In December last year, the 35 year old had another four years added to the time she was already serving after pleading guilty in Mackay Supreme Court to trafficking methylamphetamines in 2018.

Lauren Elizabeth Piccles, 35, had a drug history dating back to 2006.
Lauren Elizabeth Piccles, 35, had a drug history dating back to 2006.

For just more than a month between July and August Piccles pushed wholesale and street-level amounts of ice in the Mackay region.

Because Piccles already had jail terms hanging over her head - for offending dating back to 2006 - the latest court order added at least another 12 months of actual custody.

She cannot apply for parole release until April 24 next year.

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Defence barrister James Benjamin, for Piccles, argued the time she would ultimately spend in jail because of the cumulative sentences was just shy of the halfway mark for a term totalling five years, eight months and 10 days.

"He submitted that demonstrated that insufficient allowance, by way of early release, had been given to the plea of guilty and other mitigating circumstances," Justice Peter Davis said in a an appeal court judgment.

Lauren Elizabeth Piccles case to the Court of Appeal was rejected.
Lauren Elizabeth Piccles case to the Court of Appeal was rejected.

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"In my view, it is inappropriate to assess the severity of the sentence imposed on the latest trafficking charge as if it, and the balance to be served on earlier sentences were, in effect, together one sentence."

"When an offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they are, from that point, liable to serve the entirety of the term of imprisonment."

In 2011 Piccles received a five-year suspended jail term for ice trafficking in 2006 and 2007 - she had absconded while on bail but eventually handed herself in to police.

Lauren Elizabeth Piccles was jailed for four years for trafficking ice in Mackay for a month in 2018.
Lauren Elizabeth Piccles was jailed for four years for trafficking ice in Mackay for a month in 2018.

She breached that order with more drug offending and was released on parole.

"She then breached parole by committing further offences and attracting a further term of imprisonment for which she again received parole," Justice Davis said.

"She then again breached her parole by trafficking in methylamphetamine.

" (Piccles) had been given several opportunities to serve the earlier terms in the community."

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Justice Davis said Piccles's latest penalty had been structured so she would serve the remainder of her earlier sentences in custody and be eligible for parole after only 25 per cent of the four-year term.

"In my view the sentence is not manifestly excessive and I would dismiss the application," Justice Davis said.


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