Brother's brain injury final straw in ice addict's horror

THE PAST seven years have been a horror show for Joshua-Jack Manuele and his family.

He separated from his wife in 2010 and hasn't seen his daughter since 2011.

The next year, he was diagnosed with paranoia schizophrenia, and the floods impacted his business so much he had to shut down.

After two years of being cared for by his mother, his brother Jamie was admitted to hospital complaining about an acute headache and weakness on his left side. Issues with Jamie's care while in two hospitals left him with a permanent brain injury.

Yesterday, Manuele pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking dangerous drugs in the Rockhampton Supreme Court.

Defence Barrister Scott Moon said Manuele was very close to his brother.

"This had a considerable impact on his family," Mr Moon said.

"He turned to drug use."

Crown prosecutor Megan Jones said police searched Manuele's caravan in January 2016 and found messages on his mobile phone that led to the trafficking charge.

Police uncovered a trafficking operation run by Manuele between January 1 to January 25, 2016, that included 17 customers, 15 sales and a profit of $3620 selling methamphetamine and cannabis.

Mr Moon said Manuele discovered meth in 2013 as a way to deal with what had happened to his older brother, but it didn't help.

He said prior to that, Manuele drank up to three quarters of a bottle of Jack Daniels on a regular basis.

Mr Moon said Manuele would inject up to $100 a day of meth when he could afford it, and smoke cannabis to relax.

He said when Manuele lost everything in 2011, he moved in with his mother, who now also cares full-time for Jamie.

"He wasn't able to make repayments on his house (after the floods)," Mr Moon said.

"If it wasn't for his mother taking him in in 2011... his mother did keep him on track."

He said his business, making conveyor belts for mines, employed three people and was formed after Manuele was made redundant from the meatworks in 2008.

Justice Duncan McMeekin took into account 169 days non-declarable pre-sentence custody when he ordered Manuele to a three-year jail term with immediate parole.


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