Gladstone fisherman in drug world ice bust
A JUDGE of the District Court has slammed a 55-year-old Gladstone drug user busted with chemical precursors to cook-up ice that his involvement in the drug world at his age must be condemned.
Robert Joyce, a commercial fisherman, was arrested after police found him with chemicals that were precursors to produce methylamphetamine outside a chemist shop in Kinkora.
Joyce was sentenced to 15 months jail after he pleaded guilty in the District Court at Gladstone to the production of methylamphetamine on August 27 last year.
He will serve three months before being released on parole.
Crown prosecutor Shauna Rankin said police found Joyce at his motorbike with shopping bags that held chemical precursors and drug paraphernalia.
It included propane gas, a bottle of acetone, hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Two dozen Demazin pills were found in his sock.
"He says he was doing his mate a favour by purchasing the materials. He would not tell police who the other person was," she said.
"He says he knew they would be used to cook methylamphetamine and denied he would be getting any financial advantage."
Ms Rankin said that three months after the charges were laid police found him growing cannabis plants for his own use at his rural property (in the chook pen).
She said Joyce's criminal history went back to when he was aged 20 after his first offence when police found him with a cannabis deal wrapped in a tea towel.
He had since been convicted of two counts of supplying heroin.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said Joyce began using cannabis and heroin when a teenager.
In this matter he instructs that he procured the precursor chemicals for methylamphetamine for another person and got no benefit from doing this.
"There is no evidence of commerciality," Mr Ahlstrand said.
He also acknowledged that Joyce while on bail for this offence, again offended by producing cannabis.
Judge David Searles asked Ms Rankin if the Crown accepted that he did this for a friend.
"The Crown has no evidence," she said.
"But frankly no such enterprise can get underway unless people like you provide the ingredients," Judge Searles said.
"Obviously a man of your age to be involved in the scourge of our community is to be condemned.
"When we see the problems created anyone involved should hang their heads in shame."