Break-up causes drift back to drugs

AN 18-year-old man who faced more than 60 charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday will spend only one month in jail after receiving a suspended sentence.

Brendan Shadlow pleaded guilty to numerous charges of wilful damage to Coca-Cola machines and theft of vending machine change. His co-accused, 21-year-old Mackay born Kevin Nicol, who breached a three-year suspended sentence, will serve seven months for similar offences.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Jane Doran said Shadlow's other charges included driving a stolen car, break and enter, breaching bail, receiving stolen goods, possessing cannabis, and obstructing police.

Shadlow's defence lawyer Peter Vale said his tally of Shadlow's offences stood at 65 but the charges were mainly confined to last year.

Mr Vale said Shadlow told him the offences came after he 'started hitting amphetamines bad 12 months ago' and Shadlow had difficulty remembering his actions which Mr Vale said were 'all to secure funds for the purchase of drugs'.

Snr Const Doran detailed a number of incidents in which the pair stole items including stereos, CDs and DVDs from four cars.

Snr Const Doran said Kevin Nicol also faced charges of theft, after stealing number plates in May and August this year. She said Nicol was also charged with driving without a licence, driving an unregistered car and driving an uninsured car on May 13.

She said Nicol had breached bail eleven times while on a suspended sentence. Nicol's defence lawyer Peter Vale said before August 11 Mr Nichol's "life seemed to be rosy'' after he had given up a previous drug habit.

However, Mr Vale said after Nicol broke up with his girlfriend he 'couldn't see any future in life' and lapsed back into drug use.

Magistrate Joan White said when sentencing each of the defendants a term of imprisonment was a last resort but because 'there are a large number of them (offences)' it was the only option available.

Ms White sentenced Nicol to six months for unlawful entry, stealing and breaches of bail charges and a further one month for other offences, totalling seven months.

Magistrate Joan White sentenced Shadlow to serve one month of a five month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, and fined him $200 for failing to appear.

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