Former LNG worker's life spirals out of control due to drugs

WHEN police busted motorbike rider Philip Sherrington with methamphetamine, a stolen motorbike and $3000 cash hidden in his helmet, he was forced to take a hard look at a life crumbling because of drug use.

After 133 days in custody, the 25-year-old machinist was released by Gladstone Magistrates Court into the care of his mother and sister, with the magistrate's words ringing in his ears: "Don't mess up."

Sherrington pleaded guilty before Magistrate Mark Morrow to more than 20 drug and traffic offences.

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They included possession of dangerous drugs and drug utensils, possession of money that was the proceeds of a drug offence, glass smoking pipes, scales, clip seal plastic bags, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, driving when disqualified, having wrong number plates attached to a motorbike, and drink-driving.

When arrested the fitter-machinist had a text message on his mobile phone from a woman in Penda Ave, telling him to come over and collect the 10 ecstasy pills she had left for him in a letterbox, which police said he did.

Police prosecutor Nina Sulzer said Sherrington was riding a stolen black Honda CR1000 at his house on November 13, but told police he bought it off a friend but could not name the person.

The bike's number plate was "home made".

Glass pipes with amphetamine residue, methamphetamine inside a clip seal bag, and a set of scales disguised as a computer mouse was found inside his house, and $3000 cash was inside his helmet.

"He was unsteady on his feet and he said he used meth that morning," Ms Sulzer said.

The court heard Sherrington first told police the $3000 wad of cash - all in $50 notes - found secreted in his helmet was from a pokies win.

It's a wake-up call to him. His family are really suffering and I urge that you sentence him to probation.

Methamphetamine and an LSD tab were found inside clip seal bags in his bedroom in January.

Mr Morrow noted the offences had happened in a short amount of time, saying that it seemed "the cause of all his problems is his use of drugs".

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito agreed, saying a relationship breakdown also was a contributor.

"He worked at LNG earning $2200 a week and started to build his wealth, and those things he tried to build have come down because of drugs," Mr Pepito said.

"It's a wake-up call to him. His family are really suffering and I urge that you sentence him to probation."

Mr Morrow told Sherrington that his sudden drug use (with no prior history) had turned his life into a mess, and instead should have sought help from his family.

He was impressed by the support shown to Sherrington by his mother and his sister, who told the court she had work lined up for her brother.

Telling him not to mess up, Mr Morrow recommended that Sherrington "listen to what your mother and sister tell you".

Sherrington was released on a supervised probation order of 30 months and was disqualified from driving for another 4½ years.

He faces trial in the Gladstone District Court later this year on charges of supplying the dangerous drug methylamphetamine.



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