Man jailed af­ter drug lab found in Ju­bilee Pocket

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A MAN who was ar­rested on Fri­day fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of an al­leged clan­des­tine drug lab­o­ra­tory at Ju­bilee Pocket will spend the next three months be­hind bars.

John Joseph Kennedy was brought to Mon­day’s sit­ting of the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court in po­lice cus­tody charged with pro­duc­ing and pos­sess­ing dan­ger­ous drugs, fail­ing to dis­pose of a nee­dle and syringe and two counts of pos­sess­ing rel­e­vant sub­stances or things.

The drug-re­lated of­fences were ad­journed un­til March 24 but Kennedy pleaded guilty to additional charges of breach­ing a bail con­di­tion and pre­vi­ously fail­ing to ap­pear in court.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Cas­sells said Kennedy was picked up on a war­rant last week when de­tec­tives from the Whit­sun­day Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (CIB) vis­ited a Ju­bilee Pocket ad­dress look­ing for com­pli­ance plates from a stolen jet­ski.

Kennedy, found at the ad­dress, was not the per­son named on this par­tic­u­lar war­rant, but checks re­vealed he had one of his own, for fail­ing to ap­pear on drug charges in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court.

The 39-year-old was also found to be on bail, a con­di­tion of which was to re­side at his mother’s Collingwood Park ad­dress.

Duty lawyer Sher­rie Meade said Kennedy had been in cus­tody since last Fri­day, March 7.

She said he had pre­vi­ously been trav­el­ling for work, with­out ac­cess to a com­puter, hence he missed a court date.

Ms Meade said Kennedy was un­der the im­pres­sion there wasn’t much he could do about it, so he just con­tin­ued with his work.

Mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist said this was ef­fec­tively classed as con­tempt of court.

“[And] your con­tempt is some­what ag­gra­vated... be­cause all the while that you have con­temp­tu­ously not ap­peared in court you have just ig­nored the is­sue un­til you were un­earthed on Fri­day,” he said.

Mr St­jern­qvist said the only rea­son Kennedy was granted bail in the first place was on the un­der­stand­ing he would not be liv­ing in the Whit­sun­days.

“[But] you’re back here [and] you’re back com­mit­ting the same sorts of of­fences,” he said.

Mr St­jern­qvist also noted Kennedy was serv­ing two sus­pended sen­tences, both of which he ac­ti­vated.

For these and the breach and fail­ure to ap­pear, Kennedy was sen­tenced to a to­tal of nine months im­pris­on­ment, with a pa­role re­lease date of June 9, 2014.

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