Drug addict spends night in watch­house as sen­tence con­sid­ered

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS -

A RE­PEAT drug of­fender spent one night in the watch­house and nar­rowly avoided serv­ing time in prison af­ter be­ing caught with less than one gram of cannabis.

Justin Brown, 20, pleaded guilty in the Rock­hamp­ton Mag­is­trates Court to the pos­ses­sion charge on Oc­to­ber 5.

At the time of his most re­cent of­fend­ing - July 17 the court heard Brown breached a sus­pended sen­tence which had been handed down on June 16 af­ter he breached a pro­ba­tion or­der.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Jess King said po­lice came across Brown on Liv­ing­stone St, Berserker, at 11.11am on July 17.

“He was sweat­ing pro­fusely,” she said.

Ms King said while po­lice were search­ing Brown, he dropped an item on the ground which po­lice no­ticed when he took a step.

She said po­lice found a small amount of green leafy ma­te­rial.

His de­fence lawyer Sch­eryn Aspinall told the court Brown had been forced to take drugs as a child by his un­cle and be­come ad­dicted.

She said he found a 10-week drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram he un­der­took while on pa­role use­ful.

Ms Aspinall said Brown had also been at­tend­ing Headspace where he was signed up for Drug ARM.

Due to Brown’s con­tin­ual breaches of court sen­tences, Mag­is­trate Jeff Clark stood the mat­ter down overnight for con­sid­er­a­tion, stat­ing he was not, at that point, con­vinced to not ac­ti­vate the sus­pended sen­tence re­sult­ing in Brown spend­ing ac­tual time in prison.

Brown was kept in cus­tody

overnight with Mr Clark sen­tenc­ing him on Oc­to­ber 6.

“You have been given ev­ery op­por­tu­nity of a young per­son,” he said.

“But you’ve con­tin­ued to go about do­ing what you want to do.

“You get to a stage where you just go to prison... I’ve been con­vinced by Ms Aspinall to keep you in the com­mu­nity be­cause of the ef­forts that you have made.

“I hope this last op­por­tu­nity will help you grow up, wake up... re­alise you must com­ply with the law.”

Mr Clark or­dered Brown to a two-month prison term, wholly sus­pended and op­er­a­tional for 18 months.

He fur­ther or­dered the pre­vi­ous sus­pended sen­tence handed down in June have its op­er­a­tional pe­riod ex­tended by a fur­ther six-months.

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