Plan to throw drug-filled ball into jail earns time inside

Maryborough Correctional Centre.
Maryborough Correctional Centre. Valerie Horton

FEARING for his life, Christopher James Blackburn stuffed a USB stick filled with pornography, a phone and drugs into a tennis ball and covered it in duct tape.

But the Bundaberg man's plan was foiled moments before he was about to throw the package over the wall of the Maryborough Correctional Centre to pay off a debt.

The 28-year-old's co-accused Jessica McDowall had tipped off police that the "drop" was planned for two days before Christmas last year.

The package included 11g of marijuana and almost 4g of methylamphetamines, though the purity was poor.

Blackburn told authorities he would be paid $1000 for the "drop" over the prison fence.

But he claimed his life had been threatened if he did not because he had incurred a debt while in prison that had to be repaid.

Crown prosecutor Sam Bain said Blackburn had an extensive criminal history for assaults, burglary, drugs and dishonesty offences.

He said Blackburn had breached nearly every order offered to him.

Blackburn was jailed in 2011 for taking a joyride around Bundaberg and again in 2012 for stealing from Bundaberg shops among other offences.

He had only been released on parole for those offences six days before he concocted the plan to throw the prohibited items inside a jail.

McDowall pleaded guilty in the Maryborough Supreme Court on Monday and was sentenced to nine months jail, to be released on parole after serving about two-and-a-half months.

Justice Glenn Martin said while the pair had comparable criminal histories, it was McDowall's admissions that led to authorities catching them in the process.

He sentenced Blackburn to 18 months jail.

Blackburn will be released on parole on January 19. He has already served 75 days pre-sentence custody.

The court heard Blackburn had bladder cancer and that a tumour had ruptured pre-surgery, which meant there was a high chance it would return.

Topics:  cannabis crime debt jail maryborough correctional centre methylamphetamines pornography

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