Man jailed after drug lab found in Jubilee Pocket
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.