Judge's speech to drug dealer granny Sandra May Castle who has weeks to live


Judge’s inspiring speech to terminally ill drug dealer granny who has just weeks to live: Make your final weeks on Earth ‘count for something’

  • Sandra May Castle, 62, who was caught moving drugs, has only weeks left to live
  • Justice Brown told the terminally ill grandmother to make her final weeks count 
  • Castle had received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to drug dealing
  • Justice Brown said it would be unfair burden to staff to send Castle to prison 


A terminally ill Queensland grandmother caught trafficking drugs has been told to make the final months of her life count for something after avoiding going to jail.

Sandra May Castle, 62, of Blackbutt, received a suspended five-year sentence in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday after pleading guilty to selling methamphetamine, cannabis and oxycodone for more than six months from 2019.

Justice Susan Brown said the charge warranted a five-year jail term for the wheelchair-bound Castle, whose history of drug offences spans almost four decades.

But Justice Brown admitted it was a very unusual case, with Castle given ‘a few months to a year’ left to live and told she could not be accommodated by a Queensland jail.

Sandra May Castle (pictured), 62, who was caught trafficking drugs, has been told to make the final months of her life count for something after avoiding going to jail

Sandra May Castle (pictured), 62, who was caught trafficking drugs, has been told to make the final months of her life count for something after avoiding going to jail

Instead of going to prison, Castle was told to make the most of her time left by being a good influence on her family.

‘You only have arguably a short period of life left Ms Castle. You’ve got to make it count for something,’ Justice Brown said.

‘You can still do something positive in terms of influencing your children and grandchildren not to live the life that you have and to explain to them how they can take different paths and make different choices.’

Castle was caught dealing drugs from July 2019 to January 2020 by Operation Butza, a special investigation run by Murgon police targeting trafficking.

The terminally ill Queensland grandmother received a suspended five-year sentence in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday after pleading guilty to selling methamphetamine, cannabis and oxycodone for more than six months from 2019

The terminally ill Queensland grandmother received a suspended five-year sentence in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday after pleading guilty to selling methamphetamine, cannabis and oxycodone for more than six months from 2019

Instead of going to prison for her drug crimes, Justice Susan Brown (pictured) told Castle to make the most of her time left by being a good influence on her family, saying, 'You only have arguably a short period of life left Ms Castle. You've got to make it count for something'

Instead of going to prison for her drug crimes, Justice Susan Brown (pictured) told Castle to make the most of her time left by being a good influence on her family, saying, ‘You only have arguably a short period of life left Ms Castle. You’ve got to make it count for something’

Castle sold mostly meth from her home in a ‘street-level’ unsophisticated drug operation that boasted up to 60 customers and made more than $82,000 during that period, crown prosecutor Victoria Adams said.

Castle had a ‘very difficult, heartbreaking childhood’ and became addicted to heroin at an early age after several abusive relationships before committing a string of drug offences from 1983 that led to four jail terms, the last in 2017, the court was told.

‘Your childhood indicates the ‘why’ in terms of what led you on the path of offending … what it doesn’t do is provide an excuse,’ Justice Brown said.

Castle was caught dealing drugs from July 2019 to January 2020 by Operation Butza, a special investigation run by Murgon police targeting trafficking. Castle sold mostly meth from her home in a 'street-level' unsophisticated drug operation that boasted up to 60 customers

Castle was caught dealing drugs from July 2019 to January 2020 by Operation Butza, a special investigation run by Murgon police targeting trafficking. Castle sold mostly meth from her home in a ‘street-level’ unsophisticated drug operation that boasted up to 60 customers

She suggested Castle – who now requires assistance with daily care – was now paying the price for her drug-fuelled life.

‘Perhaps as a result of the lifestyle you have led … your life expectancy is not expected to be significant,’ Justice Brown said.

‘Ironically the society, which has been drained by the offending in which you engaged is now supporting you while you are suffering a terminal illness.

‘The sad thing Ms Castle is that your NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) worker also comments that you are a delightful lady – that hasn’t been able to shine through in your life. It’s a waste.’

Justice Brown said it would also be an unfair burden on corrective services to send Castle to jail.

Justice Brown said it would also be an unfair burden on corrective services to send Castle to jail

Justice Brown said it would also be an unfair burden on corrective services to send Castle to jail

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