Whole Qld town needs 'drug diversion', says Magistrate


MAGISTRATE Cameron Press wants to send the whole town of Biloela to drug diversion, following a massive court list which related mostly to drug matters.

Six pages were needed for the court list on Wednesday at Biloela Magistrates Court.

After several hours of similar cases, Magistrate Press became fed up when dealing with yet another charge of possessing dangerous drugs.

The charge related to a 34-year old Biloela man who was intercepted by police to search his vehicle, where they found a small amount of marijuana under the dash mat.

"I think the whole town needs to go to drug diversion," the magistrate told the duty lawyer.

"The amount of drugs in this town is appalling," he told the court.

Magistrate Press warned the defendant he had been in court for drugs previously.

"Six times you have stood before the court: Wake up to yourself, there is a drug problem and you must address it," he said.

When the duty lawyer requested a fine for his client, it was denied.

"Too many people think that they can keep coming to the court and getting fines," the magistrate said.

"It's obviously not working."

The man was ordered to complete 10 months probation and his conviction was recorded.

A 35-year-old Monto mancame close to being sent to jail after facing 11 charges.

The charges included failure to appear in court, driving unlicensed, stealing, receiving tainted property, unlawful possession of suspected stolen property and a number of drug charges.

The man faced three counts of possessing utensils or pipes for drug use and three counts of possessing dangerous drugs.

In relation to the stealing charges, he allegedly had in his possession tainted property of bank and personal cards, and a mobile phone from Chermside and a mobile phone from Redcliffe.

He was intercepted by police in Dakenba during January.

The drug offences occurred on various dates in Brisbane, where he was found with water pipes, methylamphetamine, marijuana and scales.

According to prosecutor's notes, he told the police in Deagon, Brisbane, on June20 he "smoked cannabis because we're junkies" and he used the scales "to weigh his gear".

Magistrate Press noted the man had served two months of imprisonment two years ago for possessing dangerous drugs and warned the man to break his habits.

"You have indeed been to the court a number of times before," Magistrate Press said.

"It is basically up to you to change: If you don't, you will be facing longer and longer terms in jails.

"It is up to you. Stop making excuses, there are many agencies here in Australia to help with drug support."

He was convicted and sentenced to one month imprisonment for failing to appear, six months for seven other charges and three months for unlicensed driving.

Magistrate Press ordered the sentence be seven months overall, with immediate parole.

He was also ordered to complete 15 months probation.

His family were all cheering and crying with happiness at the outcome.

A Banana woman who refused to tell police who owned the drugs in her house, also faced court.

She was charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possessing utensils or pipes for dangerous drugs and failing to properly dispose of a needle and syringe.

Police carried out a search warrant at her address on January 20, where a glass pipe, hypodermic syringe and needle were found along with marijuana inside a tissue box.

She told police: "I guess I will go down for it."

Crystal substances were also found inside a purple wallet but the woman told police other people had been staying at the property.

The woman refused to tell police who owned the dangerous drugs and utensils. She was convicted on three drug charges and sentenced to 15 months probation. She was also fined $350 for failure to appear.

Topics:  biloela magistrates court drug abuse drug addicts drug problem drugs drugs and alcohol editors picks magistrate cameron press

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