Miner drove through fence and into pole while on drugs

An underground miner turned to illicit drugs after his best friend died by suicide.

The miner drove a car while on drugs, crashing through a fence and into a pole.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on April 23 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to breaching domestic violence orders, drug driving, wilful damage, stealing, drive without due care and attention, stealing fuel, attempted unlawful use of a motor vehicle, fail to appear in court and enter premises belonging to Rockhampton Regional Council and commit indictable offence by break and stealing.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Sarah Rowe said all the matters before the court showed the defendant committed acts of a wide varying nature.

“Ones of concern are being acts of violence towards the victim in front of the children,” she said.

Senior Constable Rowe said the victim hid behind a door during one incident and was threatened with a wooden plank.

She said the defendant also broke into a cemetery and stole items that belonged to the community.

“He then puts the community at risk by driving while affect by drugs and on little sleep, only stopping when crashing into a pole and a fence,” Senior Constable Rowe said.

He had amphetamines and methamphetamines in his system at the time.

Senior Constable Rowe said the defendant did have a substantial traffic history and significant criminal history.

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client failed to appear in court due to COVID.

He said the father of four, who had worked as an underground miner, turned to drugs after his best friend died by suicide in 2019.

Mr Robertson said the defendant was using drugs daily up until being remanded in custody.

He said his client used to require valium to help him sleep but now had no need for any medications or drugs.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale ordered the defendant to a nine month head sentence, to pay $180 restitution, disqualified him from driving for six months and declared 136 days in presentence custody with immediate release on parole.



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