Santos' GLNG project at Curtis Island.
Santos' GLNG project at Curtis Island.

First he lost his job, then his wife, then came the drugs

IMAGINE hitting rock- bottom not just once or twice, but three times.

That was the reality for a 50-year-old Gladstone man who found himself sitting in the Gladstone Magistrates Court this week.

The first blow came in the form of unemployment after he was let go from his job as a crane operator at Curtis Island.

He was then faced with the breakdown of the relationship he had with his wife, which also saw him lose a considerable amount of property and belongings when the marriage collapsed.

To cope with the hardship and stress, he turned to drugs.

It was this decision that saw him enter a plea of guilty to three charges including the possession of dangerous drugs, possession of used drug utensils and driving while the relevant drug was present in his system.

On May 8, the man was intercepted by police for a random drug test while riding his motorbike along the Dawson Hwy.

He returned a positive reading that was later revealed to be cannabis.

Police also conducted a search of his bike and person, locating 5.9 grams of cannabis, a cone piece and drug smoking pipe.

Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said her client had been under a lot of strain with the issues he had been facing.

"He is an adult, your honour," Ms Ramos told Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho.

"He has had no entries in his criminal history for quite some time...

"This recent offending was the result of his marriage ending."

Ms Ramos said her client was happy to partake in drug counselling as part of his sentence.

Ms Ho said it was unusual to "have such a mature offender" be placed on a drug diversion program and said she would give him the benefit of the doubt given his last offending was 17 years ago.

Ms Ho placed the man on a four-month good behaviour bond and disqualified his licence for one month. She also imposed a $350 fine.

No conviction was recorded on the criminal offences, however Ms Ho recorded a conviction on the traffic offence.


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