The Chronicle

Jail time for drug offence breach


JUST three days after he was sentenced for serious drug offences, a Toogoolawa­h man was found behind the wheel of a car with its motor running and so intoxicate­d by drugs he had to be hospitalis­ed.

Mark Roland Colin Cullen appeared in Toowoomba District Court on Thursday where he was re-sentenced after he was found to have breached the conditions of a suspended sentence imposed by the same court last year.

Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court Cullen had been convicted of a series of drug offences in Toowoomba District Court on August 5, 2020 including possessing dangerous drugs, unlawfully possessing a weapon and possession of tainted property.

Cullen was found in possession of about 1kg of cannabis, and an analysis of his phone revealed evidence of street-level dealing of the drug.

The court was told that since that sentence was imposed Cullen had been convicted of 21 other offences, including when on May 28 in Toowoomba Magistrate­s Court he was convicted of an assault on a stranger who had just given the 24-year-old and his friend a lift in Bundaberg in November 2020.

Ms Petrie said the second breach took place three days after he was sentenced for driving while under the influence of drugs when he was found unresponsi­ve behind the wheel of a car with the motor running in a carpark in Toowoomba.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said Cullen had put himself in a position where the “court’s hands were tied”.

“The reality is being visited upon you today which was explained to you at the time.

“Breach the suspended sentence and you will be dealt with and the court must order that you serve the whole suspended sentence (behind bars) unless the court considers it unjust.

“There is absolutely no basis on which the court can consider it unjust.”

Judge Horneman-Wren said the fact Cullen had been found “stupefied on drugs” just three days after being sentenced for drug-related offences was a result of his constant battle with an addiction to narcotics.

“You must try and use the last part of your time in jail to make sure you don’t get on any gear,” the judge said.

“You need to sit there day in, day out and concentrat­e on being clean and how you’re going to stay clean when you get out.”

Cullen was convicted and sentenced to six months behind bars, but after more than eight months in pre-sentence custody Judge HornemanWr­en set an immediate parole date, however noted with Parole Board Queensland facing delays of up to five months said he might not be released until at least next year.

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