How expired rego led to meth 'supply' bust
A PRISON is no place to celebrate your 60th.
But it's what Gregory Lea Lowien will have to settle for, with a conviction for drug possession the only stain on his previously "unblemished” criminal history.
Lowien was not the typical drug user, turning to methamphetamine at the age of 58.
Just three days shy of his 60th birthday, Lowien pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton to possession of dangerous drugs in excess of 2g.
It was an expired car registration which saw the Rockhampton man come unstuck.
The court heard police pulled Lowien over on January 15, 2016 and searched the vehicle as part of their inquiry into the expired registration.
Officers found a black leather shaving bag with multiple compartments, housing $2290 cash, bank statements and documents, and numerous clip-seal bags with a white crystal substance found to be 7.93g pure methamphetamine.
Another $350 was found in a cup holder and Lowien was carrying $465.
The prosecution argued this indicated Lowien had the drugs for commercial purposes, but defence lawyer Doug Winning said he would supply friends at cost price.
Mr Winning said an analysis of Lowien's phone found no drug-related messages.
Lowien was employed in the mines when a workplace accident badly damaged his shoulder, putting him out of work for two years.
Mr Winning said during this time at the end of 2015, Lowien was the passenger in a ute which crashed near Emerald.
He suffered significant back, shoulder and neck injuries.
Mr Winning said the compensation claim was ongoing.
It was at this time Lowien turned to methamphetamine as a way to relieve the recurring back pain and depression he was suffering.
Mr Winning said it was unusual for someone of Lowien's age to be drawn into the drug community.
Justice Duncan McMeekin agreed, describing the circumstances as "extremely disappointing”.
He sentenced Lowien to two years imprisonment, with a parole release date of June 26.