ONLINE SHOPPING: A smartphone screenshot of Wish.com Facebook advertisements – an international website known for its wide selection of bizarre items.
ONLINE SHOPPING: A smartphone screenshot of Wish.com Facebook advertisements – an international website known for its wide selection of bizarre items.

Man, 61, fronts court for bizarre Wish.com purchase

A GLADSTONE man said he had no idea the “Chinese happy seeds” he bought from a website were drugs, a court was told.

That is until police executed a search warrant at his Auckland St home in November 2019.

Ronald Ashley Norman Austin pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count each of possess dangerous drugs and possess utensils.

The court was told when police executed a search warrant at the 61-year-old’s address, he told police he had since realised the seeds he bought from online website Wish were marijuana seeds.

Police also found four drug pipes and a grinder.

In court Austin did not have a lawyer and told magistrate Dennis Kinsella he was a former “chronic alcoholic”.

Austin said instead of drinking alcohol he smoked marijuana because it “seemed to keep him out of trouble”.

Mr Kinsella asked Austin why he couldn’t get a “more wholesome hobby”.

“Why not go for a jog?” Mr Kinsella said.

Austin said when he came across the “Chinese happy seeds” on Wish he did not ­realise it was actually marijuana. However when police came to search his address, he admitted to knowing the seeds were drugs.

Mr Kinsella said Austin was “wilfully ignorant” about the drugs. He also asked Austin if he had his drug use “under control” and if he needed assistance.

“If I had it under control I wouldn’t be here,” Austin said.

Mr Kinsella ordered Austin to complete nine months’ probation, subject to therapeutic drug testing.

A conviction was recorded.



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