Brothers face court on drug possession charges
Two brothers who turned to drugs in order to cope with a family tragedy faced Biloela Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Matthew Allan Oates, 20, and Nathan John Martin Oates, 19, both pleaded guilty to one count each of possessing dangerous drugs.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Pete Rumford read the facts of the cases separately, however, they were largely the same.
On December 5 last year, police undertaking patrols at Moura intercepted a vehicle and identified Matthew as the driver and Nathan as the passenger.
The responding officers intercepted the vehicle for the purpose of a random drug and alcohol screening.
The car smelt of cannabis and police reported Matthew as nervous while he faced questions.
“The defendant claimed he was around other people who had smoked,” Snr Const Rumford said.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police uncovered two clip-seal bags inside a backpack with a combined weight of 16.7 grams of cannabis in them.
Matthew made admissions that half was his and half was his brother Nathan’s.
Despite having other matters to be dealt with in the coming months at Barcaldine Magistrates Court, Matthew had no criminal history whatsoever.
“We lost our mother last month and have been struggling to cope with the pain of losing her,” Matthew said.
“Take long walk, listen to music, there are a lot of other options to deal with the grief because this one is illegal,” Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said.
“You have to find other ways of coping with your loss.”
Ms Beckinsale fined Matthew with no convictions recorded.
In addressing and sentencing younger brother Nathan, Ms Beckinsale said it was not an insubstantial amount of drugs for two young men to have.
“Don’t make the mistake of reoffending,” she said.
Nathan received the same punishment of a $500 fine with no convictions recorded.