The daughter of high-profile victim rights campaigner Louise Nicholas will be sentenced next month after admitting repeatedly supplying methamphetamine alongside her gang member partner.

And now she and her mother have spoken out about the journey they are on in her battle against addiction, owning her actions and facing the consequences no matter what.

Jessica Frances Nicholas, 29, was arrested during a major police drug operation focused on the Rebels gang and their involvement in the supply of meth to the Bay of Plenty area.

Operation Ulysses started in April last year with a specific focus on the central chapter of the Rebels gang based in Taupō.


Nicholas' partner Scott Empson is a patched member of the gang.

He was also arrested and charged, along with the chapter president James Duff.

The men are still before the courts.

Nicholas pleaded guilty to six charges of supplying meth and will be sentenced on February 14.

The maximum penalty for supplying methamphetamine is life in prison.

But a landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal in October last year means meth dealers who can prove their own addiction caused their drug offending could have their sentences cut by 30 per cent.

The role of an offender in a drug network will also have a greater bearing on the length of a prison sentence, or if they are jailed at all.

Louise Nicholas, right, and her daughter Jessica Nicholas talk on a facebook video about Jessica's methamphetamine addiction and legal troubles. Photo / Facebook
Louise Nicholas, right, and her daughter Jessica Nicholas talk on a facebook video about Jessica's methamphetamine addiction and legal troubles. Photo / Facebook

This week Judge Greg Hollister-Jones granted the Herald access to the court file which outlines Nicholas' offending.


The summary of facts reveals that during Operation Ulysses police were authorised to intercept the private communications of suspected meth suppliers and to monitor their movements through tracking devices.

Surveillance was also used to identify "key meetings, people and activities".

Empson and Duff are still before the courts so the charges against them are yet to be dealt with.

On August 29 Nicholas delivered a "large bag" of meth to a woman in Taupō.

The next day two of Empson's associates came to her home to buy meth.

"She ultimately supplied each of them with approximately half a gram of methamphetamine for $200," the summary stated.

Meth is currently priced at between $300 and $800 per gram and $4000 and $13,000 per ounce.

On the street it's usually sold in small plastic bags known as "points" - containing a tenth of a gram and worth between $80 and $100.

On September 7 Empson's two associates returned to the house and Nicholas "took the initiative" to supply them with methamphetamine a second time.

On September 16 she was at home and Empson allegedly called her to "make up a bag" of meth totalling 10 grams for an associate known as "Joe".

"Nicholas complied with the request, weighed out the bag and supplied it to this individual," said the summary.

"The bag of methamphetamine had a value of between $3000 and $4000."

Police said that the six "transactions" Nicholas was involved in resulted in the sale and supply of at least 11.75 grams of meth.

However on two occasions the amount of the drug that was supplied could not be determined.

Jessica Nicholas, daughter of Louise Nicholas, has pleaded guilty to methaphetamine charges. Photo / Facebook
Jessica Nicholas, daughter of Louise Nicholas, has pleaded guilty to methaphetamine charges. Photo / Facebook

The Herald reached out to Nicholas and her mother for comment.

Louise Nicholas became well known after she accused a number of police of rape, triggering an exhaustive investigation and a Commission of Inquiry into the culture of the organisation and how sexual assault cases were investigated, and works with the police advising new recruits and supporting victims of abuse.

They did not want to speak about Nicholas' journey until after she is sentenced.

But, they appeared in a video together discussing her addiction and legal troubles.

They gave the Herald permission to report on the video.

A mother's fears realised

In it her mother looks back at the months leading up to the arrest.

"The lies, I think that was the biggest one for us," she said.

"We knew stuff was happening, we knew that there was meth and every time we would say 'are you guys on it' (you'd say) - nah, nah, nah.

"Jess had the P sores on her face but (she would say) it was 'hormones' - that sort of stuff.

"But what can you do about it? The realisation is you can't do much about it. They needed to come to their own realisation that the effect the drug was having on them individually - but also my granddaughter."

Louise Nicholas said her daughter's child was never in danger and always well cared for by her "bloody good" parents.

She said it was a hugely emotional time.

"Jess is my daughter and I would walk on hot coals to protect my children - you just do," she said.

After Nicholas and Empson were arrested Louise went to Taupō and moved her daughter and granddaughter back into her own home.

Empson was remanded in custody and remains in prison awaiting his next court date.

Louise said she visited him regularly, taking his daughter to see him.

She said since stopping the drugs his whole outlook had improved and he was "clear thinking".

"He's finally a father, he's finally a man who's got goals and he's working towards those … it may be a few years before this family becomes a family again but that's his goal and for that we're very, very proud," she said.

The mother and daughter discussed the day Nicholas was arrested and the call her mother got from police.

They said Nicholas had been charged and was being held in custody.

"Getting that phone call is a parent's worst nightmare," Louise said.

Her first thought was for her grandchild.

"What the f***, your mother's going to jail… the reality was that this little girl was going to grow up without her parents."

Nicholas said she was "dreading" telling her parents about the charges.

Police say meth is
Police say meth is "firmly embedded" within the illicit drug landscape in New Zealand. Photo / File

"You both had choices in this situation, you made choices that affected not just your lives but your daughter's life and your family and friends," Louise said.

"This journey has been an eye opener for us all.

"I work with people, survivors, that have to be supported through the courts because of bad stuff that happened to them.

"And then being on the other side when I'm supporting the offender … (the charges) that was the kick - it's the fact it was meth, it's the fact it was supply, it was that bad shit you hear on the news."

Nicholas is now working hard to stay clear of drugs and documenting her progress on social media.

She said there were still days she struggled and just wanted to have "a sesh" but she was focused on sobriety.

Louise said she was "extremely proud" of her daughter and did not judge her at all.

"She's been so honest and I think that's why we love her so much," she said.

"Some days she says 'oh my God just give me a pipe and I'll be fine'... but this is the new normal, being Jess without the drugs.

"We love you (and Scott) more than you will ever know and that's why we haven't judged - what's the point in that? Judgment makes them head down further, we don't want that, we want positivity."

Nicholas acknowledged the gang element in her life and said she was also learning how to stay part of that while sober.

"I am the only one like this in my family," she said

"I am the only drug addict with a gang member in that life… I don't blame anyone, it's just a choice and that's a choice I made.

"And I know there are consequences - there's good ones and there's bad ones and I have to accept whatever that is whether it's good or bad."

Louise said she would always support Nicholas and Empson - with one condition.

"We don't want you any other way - all we are wanting is you not to use (drugs), that's it," she said.

"Don't change who you are, we just don't want you doing that shit, that's it, no more.

"You step over that line and that's it, we walk away."

Louise said her daughter was "proving herself" every day.

"She's doing it, and you can't ask for more than that."

The meth epidemic - firmly embedded in NZ

In the summary police also spoke about the meth epidemic in New Zealand, saying it was "firmly embedded" within the illicit drug landscape.

"We continue to see nationally significant increases in the importation, manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in the uncut or pure form known as P.

"P is highly addictive and is being abused by people from all sectors of the community.

"The detrimental side effects on users include aggression, psychotic behaviour, anxiety and paranoia.

"The importation, manufacture and distribution is closely linked with organised criminal gangs.