IN A shaky voice, a man who has been battling a drug problem since he was a child recounted the events which led him to the Gladstone courthouse.
The court heard on July 22 at 7.25pm, Nathan James Ryder, 32, was intercepted by police along Kirkwood Rd for a routine check and underwent a saliva test which found that he had methamphetamine in his blood.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Ryder immediately admitted he had injected the drug before the interception and cooperated with police.
"He said there was no (pressing) reason for driving and he was just going to a friend's place," Sgt Stevens said.
Less than two months later on September 15 at 6.10pm, the defendant was intercepted by police again - this time along the Bruce Highway at Benaraby.
A test revealed Ryder had methampetamine in his saliva, which he said he had consumed before being stopped by police.
The court heard Ryder cooperated with police and immediately admitted he had taken the drug on the second occasion.
But Magistrate Melanie Ho wasn't satisfied with mere pleas of guilt, noting the defendant had been clean for at least two years prior to the offences occurring and asking him what happened.
"I've been dealing with it since I was 15," Ryder told Ms Ho.
"I fall back every now and then. I had a couple of mishaps, I don't know why."
Ryder said the day before the second offending he had heard his neighbour try to commit suicide.
"I wasn't thinking, so I drove," he told the court.
"I fell off the wagon."
Ms Ho was visibly relieved when she heard the defendant's neighbour had survived.
Ryder told the court he was getting help for his drug problem because he felt "like a bit of an idiot".
"I'm just getting tired of what it does to me ... I don't want to relapse anymore," he said.
But when Sgt Stevens suggested to Ms Ho the defendant be assessed, she quickly pointed out his age.
"You're 32," she told the defendant.
You've got to make a choice with which way you're going to go.
The court heard Ryder was unemployed and on a disability pension due to his inability to read and write.
"I had meningitis when I was a baby, so now I can't retain it. I can learn how to read and write but if I put it down for two or three days it (the ability to read or write) goes again," Ryder said.
Keen to see Ryder's progress and the results of him getting the help he said he was receiving, Ms Ho adjourned the matter for February 13.
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