News

Tragedy as CQ toddler loses both her parents

Jeffrey David Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton on Thursday to possessing over 2g of meth, along with nine other drug related charges.
Jeffrey David Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton on Thursday to possessing over 2g of meth, along with nine other drug related charges. John Gass

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl who lost her mother to suicide last year will be without her father for the next five months after he was jailed for possessing methamphetamines.

Jeffrey David Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton on Thursday to possessing over 2g of meth, along with nine other drug related charges.

Johnson's defence barrister Maree Willey explained Johnson's criminal history related to drugs dating back to 2015 was linked to his partner's mental health problems and untimely death.

"His partner had significant mental health issues and in March 2016, she took her own life," Ms Willey said.

She said his first charge dealt with by courts in 2015 was when he was using drugs to help cope with the "highs and lows" of her schizophrenia, bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder.

"He increased his usage after her suicide," Ms Willey said. "He thought that would help him get through."

Crown prosecutor Hamish McIntyre said police conducted a search of Johnson's Kin Kora home in Gladstone on May 20, 2016, where they found 2.537g of meth.

The search also uncovered $2600 in cash, a mobile phone suspected to be used in criminal activity, a tick sheet with seven customer names and amounts varying $50 to $700, a stolen ipad, an ice pipe, digital scales, 10 prescription tablets and a number of valuable electronics suspected of being tainted property.

The court heard Johnson gave police a number of false passcodes for the mobile phone, for which he was charged with obstructing police.

Mr McIntyre said at the time of the May offences, Johnson was on bail after being found with two bongs in February 2016.

After being charged for these offences, Johnson spent 86 days in custody.

Three months after he was released, and while on bail for the May offences, Johnson was caught by police again and charged with drug driving, having a small quantity of meth in a pipe, $600 cash and a tick sheet.

He was sentenced for the November 2016 offences in the Gladstone Magistrates Court last month.

"You've let that little girl down badly with this," Justice Duncan McMeekin said during sentencing in Rockhampton.

Justice McMeekin made reference to how well Johnson had been doing in life, he had completed an apprenticeship as an electrician and run his own company for five years prior to his partner's mental health issues, after the troubled childhood his barrister described.

Ms Willey said Johnson and his three siblings would often come home to no power and no food growing up as both their parents abused amphetamines on a daily basis.

Justice McMeekin even acknowledged Johnson's contribution to helping a former employee establish his own business since the May 2016 offences.

He was sentenced to a two-year prison term with parole released date of October 18, 2017, which takes into account the pre-sentence custody of 86 days.

The court heard the little girl will be cared for while Johnson is in prison and he intends to move away from the area with his daughter when he is released.

Topics:  drugs editors picks mental health methampetamines schizophrenia suicide supreme court of rockhampton



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