Man bolted from police with lunch box full of drugs

A man busted with a lunch box full of drugs led police on a foot-chase after they had intercepted the vehicle he was travelling in.

Brendan James Rafter, 36, was busted possessing 9.181g of MDMA and 7.405g of methamphetamines after police intercepted a vehicle at Pialba on February 4, 2020.

Rafter was a passenger in the vehicle driven by a female who pulled over for police.

Justice Graeme Crow said Rafter struggled with police after a chase.

He was arrested and taken to the Hervey Bay Police Station.

Rafter had a blue lunch box in his possession and inside were clip-seal bags of meth, MDMA and ecstasy, along with a tick sheet, $3291 in cash and an extended baton.

Rafter pleaded guilty on March 31 in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton to one count of supply a dangerous drug, two possess a dangerous drug in excess of two grams, one possess an illicit substance and one possess an item used in the commission of a drug crime.

Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said his client had undertaken drug rehabilitation courses and had a relapse prevention plan.

“He had a long period of stability when he was drug free,” he said.

Justice Crow said Rafter had a six-page criminal record which showed no drug convictions until 2016 when he was 30 years old.

He said evidence before the court showed Rafter started using drugs after he lost his job due to a mining industry downturn which impacted his relationship of 15 years with his fiance.

The qualified diesel fitter and former fly-in fly-out worker managed to obtain 12 months’ work in civil construction before being made redundant in 2015.

Rafter’s relationship broke down and he turned to drugs.

“It’s plain that drugs get the better of you from 2016 forwards,” Justice Crow said.

He said once Rafter was released on parole, he got a new job and started a new relationship, but when that relationship ended, Rafter returned to drugs.

“You are not a child,” Justice Crow said.

“You are a man of 36 years.

“You ought to expect in the future things may not go your way.”

Rafter was sentenced to three years and nine months prison with 316 days presentence custody declared as time served and parole eligibility set for May 3, 2021.

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