Why a young man was jailed over someone else’s drugs
A young Mackay man spent his 26th birthday fronting Mackay Supreme Court where he was jailed over someone else's drugs found in someone else's car.
Why? Because he knew the methylamphetamine was in the vehicle he was driving, he even moved the stash to a different spot.
In doing so he, in a legal sense, took possession of the drugs - and because of the amount found himself in the supreme court on an aggravated charge.
The court on Thursday heard Angelo Jerome Purcell had traded vehicles with a mate, who wanted to borrow his ute.
Then 24, he found 7.003 grams of ice in the centre console that he moved to the sunglasses hutch.
When police stopped the vehicle at 9pm on January 30, 2020 officers seized the stash.
The court heard an analysis of the total revealed there was 5.313 grams of pure methylamphetamine placing the purity at about 75.9 per cent.
Purcell pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of a schedule one drug, which has a maximum penalty of 25 years jail - or 20 years if the court finds the person charged is drug dependant.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said his client had since found better friends.
The court heard Purcell had a good work history and was embarrassed to be spending his birthday in court.
The court heard Purcell had a criminal history that began when he was 20 years old and included a grievous bodily harm charge for a one-punch strike, for which he was jailed but given immediate release.
Mr McLennan pushed for a $1500 arguing that if jail was imposed Purcell's record would show a conviction for serious drug offending, which he said did not reflect the reality of the situation.
But Justice David North, in handing down his sentence, said, "Even the casual possession of drugs is serious offending."
Justice North said mining drugs helped those using or selling drugs and as such fed into the industry.
Purcell was jailed for 12 months with immediate parole. A conviction was recorded.