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.
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. Ron Ward

Drug addict spends night in watchhouse as sentence considered

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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