Family help, hard work saves man from jail after drug chaos
A FRIEND'S suicide was the trigger for a man's rapid descent into drug addiction.
Steven Patrick Walsh's life was not so bad before 2014.
But the horrific discovery of a friend who died sent Walsh down a dark path involving addiction to the drug ice, Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Wednesday.
Walsh, originally from Proserpine, faced possible jail time for drug offences committed on the Sunshine Coast.
He had no relevant criminal history until he was sentenced in Maroochydore last year for multiple drug offences.
Walsh also racked up previous driving offences in the Sunshine Coast and Gladstone.
But a recent stint working in Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island had been transformative, Justice David Boddice said.
The court was given a reference from a construction company employer.
"He describes [Walsh] as pulling his head in and trying hard to be a better person," Justice Boddice added.
Walsh helped with rebuilding efforts after the most recent cyclone, and his services were wanted again.
"You have work in the future, if you're available to do it," the judge said.
Justice Boddice was also impressed with Walsh's parents, who were supporting him.
Walsh's recent drug offences, involving methylamphetamine possession, meant he breached previous suspended sentences.
But he also received credit for an early guilty plea.
He was released on immediate parole, and ordered to report to the Maroochydore parole office within 24 hours.