Justice Graeme Crow said Rockhampton has insufficient drug rehabilitation services as he sentenced a 42-year-old first-time offender who was busted with 10g methamphetamines.
Justice Graeme Crow said Rockhampton has insufficient drug rehabilitation services as he sentenced a 42-year-old first-time offender who was busted with 10g methamphetamines. John Gass

'Insufficient' drug treatment services in CQ shocks judge

A ROCKHAMPTON based Supreme Court judge said the city has insufficient drug rehabilitation services as he sentenced a 42-year-old first-time offender who was busted with 10g methamphetamines.

"One of the current shames is that Rockhampton does not have a proper treatment facility for people like you,” Justice Graeme Crow told the defendant yesterday.

"You've done your best to rehabilitate with the services available in the community which are insufficient as they are.

"The vast majority who use this drug can't kick it.”

Justice Crow's comments come as Rockhampton region residents debate a proposed site for a 42-bed $14.3 million residential drug rehabilitation and treatment facility at Parkhurst.

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Yesterday, Damien Joseph McCoombes, a father of four, pleaded guilty to one count each of possessing a dangerous drug in excess of two grams, drug utensils, explosives, possessing party drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), possessing marijuana and not storing firearms correctly.

He had no criminal history before police raided his Gracemere home on June 1, 2018.

Defence lawyer Scott Moon outlined a story of an average Australian male working hard and supporting his family until the mine he worked for at Baralaba closed, leading to McCoombes having to declare bankruptcy and his life spiralling down into a daily meth habit.

Mr Moon said the downward spiral included McCoombes being diagnosed with sleep apnoea and cardiomyopathy after having to declare bankruptcy.

Justice Crow said one of McCoombes's four children was home when police executed the search warrant.

Police found 12.57g (9.6g pure) meth concealed in a CamelBak bag, two bongs, marijuana, fireworks, grinder, cone piece, 14g of marijuana in a purple bucket and 0.94g GHB along with empty clip seal bags concealed inside a PVC pipe in the garage.

There was no allegation of commerciality put forward by the crown prosecutor.

There were two firearms not in a locked storage unit in the garage and another firearm, along with ammunition and a cone piece, in a back shed.

Justice Crow said McCoombes did not have the benefit youthful offenders had of being naive about the high addiction rates of meth or impacts on families.

He warned McCoombes that if he did not get and stay clean, he would not only lose his family as his stoic wife had declared, the court would have no choice but to send him to prison if he returned with more drug charges.

Mr Moon said McCoombes had been to Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services in 2018 and re-engaged in July.

He said McCoombes's wife was working part time to support the family while McCoombes ran the 'household'.

"He's taken the downfall in life quite hard,” Mr Moon said.

Justice Crow ordered McCoombes to two years prison with immediate parole and convictions recorded.



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