TEMPER TANTRUM: John Benedict Lee Lee became agitated and threw a tap at the Bundaberg Hospital pharmacy, where he'd gone to get a methadone dose.
TEMPER TANTRUM: John Benedict Lee Lee became agitated and threw a tap at the Bundaberg Hospital pharmacy, where he'd gone to get a methadone dose. Mike Knott BUN051016EMERGENCY2

Pensioner in court over methadone tantrum at hospital

PEEVED his methadone was slow to be dispensed at Bundaberg Hospital, John Benedict Lee reached over the pharmacy counter, grabbed a tap and threw it.

Lee's temper tantrum saw him go before Bundaberg Magistrates Court where the pensioner pleaded guilty to wilful damage on May 7.

Prosecutor Sergeant Steven Bardini said Lee went to the hospital to get his methadone dose and became agitated at the pharmacist. He reached through a glass counter divide and grabbed the tap.

Lee told the court he had a car crash 20 years ago and suffered a bad back.

"That day I was in severe pain. I hurt my ankle and the pharmacist made me wait," he said.

"I just lost my temper. I didn't hurt anyone."

Lee said he was no longer on the methadone program.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin told Lee he had a problem controlling his behaviour, with prior offences for assault, public nuisance and obstructing police.

"They were only swearing, Your Honour," Lee said.

"It's not really a bad history, punching someone in the head if someone provokes you. How much can a man take?"

Ms Merrin said for most people it took more than it did for Lee before they lost their temper.

"You don't behave properly when (things) don't go the way you want them to go," Ms Merrin said.

"It's not the pharmacist's fault you were behaving in that way."

"They were not dosing me properly, miss," Lee said.

"When you're crook and in pain you get a short temper. I was being medicated incorrectly. I was suffering, edgy about it.

"I was in a car accident. I'm not on a methadone program because I'm a heroin addict. I hate the stuff."

Ms Merrin sentenced Lee to one month jail, suspended for six months. She said she hoped the sentence would make him think twice before doing something similar.



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