Plea change on drug charges

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

“YOU’VE got an in­tro­duc­tion to the court sys­tem to­day,” Mag­is­trate John Smith told Kevin Jai Wil­liam Mid­dle­ton as the 43-year-old fum­bled his way through last Fri­day’s hear­ing.

Mag­is­trate Smith was re­spond­ing to Mid­dle­ton’s dou­ble backflip, as the Isis River man changed his mind three times when en­ter­ing a plea.

He faced five charges, which in­cluded pos­sess­ing and pro­duc­ing dan­ger­ous drugs (mar­i­juana) and ob­struct­ing po­lice.

Mid­dle­ton was sup­posed to front Bund­aberg Mag­is­trates Court on Septem­ber 22, but failed to ap­pear.

He claimed to have had the hear­ing trans­ferred to Childers Mag­is­trates Court.

Mid­dle­ton stum­bled when asked to en­ter a plea and even­tu­ally said he would plead not guilty, but a signed doc­u­ment in which Mid­dle­ton said he would plead guilty to all charges caused more con­fu­sion.

Mag­is­trate Smith said Mid­dle­ton would be re­manded in cus­tody un­til Novem­ber 14 if he pleaded not guilty due to his ear­lier non-attendance at Bund­aberg.

Mid­dle­ton said that could not hap­pen due to his role as a “full-time carer” and even­tu­ally set­tled on a guilty plea.

He told the court he had only kept the mar­i­juana plants to help his client, who was “at the end of her tether”.

“There is noth­ing med­i­cal sci­ence can do. Some­times you just for­get about what’s right and what’s wrong,” Mid­dle­ton said.

Mid­dle­ton said he suf­fered from post-trau­matic stress disorder, but Mag­is­trate Smith replied the disorder did not “stop you from com­ply­ing with the law” and added the court would “not be de­ceived”.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Hay­ley Glover said po­lice found three cannabis plants grow­ing un­der lights, with a fur­ther 32 plants in a gar­den.

All plants were be­tween 30–90cm tall and in “healthy, well-kept” con­di­tion.

A fur­ther 2.5g of mar­i­juana were found in Mid­dle­ton’s pos­ses­sion, and an elec­tric grinder, which Sen Const Glover said was used to chop mar­i­juana, was lo­cated near his of­fice.

Mid­dle­ton re­fused to co-op­er­ate with po­lice dur­ing the search and ob­structed po­lice of­fi­cer An­drew Self.

Mid­dle­ton has a his­tory of drug-re­lated of­fences, his first in Glad­stone in 1993.

He was also charged with ob­struct­ing and as­sault­ing po­lice in 1990 and 1998.

Mag­is­trate Smith chose not to im­prison Mid­dle­ton, but did fine him a to­tal of $4150 and left him with a stern warn­ing:

“Of­fend again and you will go to jail.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.