A police minister has shared the heartbreaking story of how his family was torn apart by ice addiction.

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Australia on Ice


Northern Territory minister for Police Peter Chandler said he was forced to 'spear tackle' his son in front of his young children to get him out of the house while high on ice.

"You look around and you see your daughter in tears, you see your six year old curled up on the couch," Chandler told Sunday Night as part of an investigation into methamphetamine.

"We'd done everything we could."

Brandon's first use of the drug was with his girlfriend and he used it to relieve a hangover.

Brandon Chandler is now recovering from Ice addiction

"He'd just met this girl, they went out they had a few drinks, he wakes up with this hangover, the story he tells me is that she offered him this and he took it and he said it made him feel a million dollars," Peter Chandler said.

That girl's name is Sarah and she now lives with the Chandler family again.

She moved in with Brandon's family and they were both using drugs.

Eventually, when Brandon pawned his mother's wedding ring to buy ice, Peter was forced to make the impossible decision to kick them both out.

Brandon's mother Robyn

It was a violent intervention witnessed by Brandon's two younger siblings.

"He was smashing walls with his fist and I was crash tackling him to the floor."

"As a dad it was the hardest thing i've had to do. To throw someone out that you've brought up."

He kicked them out of the house but after a week he took the pair back in, fearing for their safety after finding them in a park.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione

The family trauma became public when Brandon lent his father's car to a friend and it was pulled over by a local cop. Inside the Police Chief's car was found methamphetamine.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione knows ice inside and out and says it's hooks in our society stem from the wide demographic of users to the ease of production.

"It doesn’t matter where you live, it doesn't recognize your age your gender, it is an indiscriminant killer" NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.

"This is a unique drug, it can come in many forms… it can be prepared and cooked locally … In boots of cars."

"It's as evil as a substance can get"

WATCH: Derryn meets an Ice user

Kasey Veal's 10 month old baby was beaten to death in the dead of night by an intruder high on ice.

"It was like a horror movie and I was living it," she said in an emotional interview with Sunday Night.

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Three years ago she was living in Bendigo with her two young sons Xavier, 3, and Zayden, 11 months.

On June 14, 2012 Casey awoke to find the front door open and the baby monitor in Zayden's room turned off.

It was their last night in the house as she and partner Matt prepared to move.

Zayden, 11 months, was beaten to death by an Ice addict

Ice addict Harley Hicks had broken into their home and beaten Kasey's child almost to death.

"The violence that had been put into that little body was adult violence it wasn’t anything you could fathom for a child."

"His face was just so swollen, beyond recognition"

He was taken to hospital but later died.

The infant had been hit more than 20 times with a pipe made of copper wire and tape.

Casey Veal, now 24

In questioning Hicks could not explain why he beat Zayden, he said only that he broke into the house in search of money or drugs.

"The only reason they could give me was 'ice' and I'm like that's not a reason, because you’re an addict isn’t a reason, not to kill someone to kill a child," Casey said.

Hicks was given a life sentence for murdering Zayden but Casey was left to pick up the pieces.

"I'm his mum, I'm meant to protect him."

"How was I going to tell his brother that his little brother's not coming home again?"

"I said to the nurse — how do I plan a funeral? How do I tell people that my son has died? How do I pick up anything from here."

Hicks in 2012 and 2014

Incredibly Hicks was a known offender, an addict who already had animal abuse, burglary and assault on his record.

He was convicted and given a life sentence and lost an appeal, but his family went on to harass Casey.

During the investigation, Xavier was taken from her care for five months.

Courtroom 2.1 at Sydney's Paramatta courthouse has just one function: Drugs.

But instead of a no-tolerance approach it is focused on rehabilitation.

Judge Roger Dive is working to enforce treatment for addicts, work that could be the solution to the growing problem.

Established 15 years ago, the court deals only with convicted drug users.

Instead of giving offenders time Judge Dive orders treatment programs: if they follow the program they stay out of prison.

But as part of the Sunday Night story, Derryn Hinch attended a rural town meeting in Victoria which highlighted the critical shortage in rehabilitation services in regional areas.

Around the country, Hinch was told there was a five month wait for rehab and families have had to stage their own intervention and treatment programs at home.

“The lack of rehab is a major problem,” he said.

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