'Until the day you die': No turning back for Gladstone teen

STERN WARNING: Zachery John Challis pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of possession dangerous drug and another count of possession drug utensils.
STERN WARNING: Zachery John Challis pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of possession dangerous drug and another count of possession drug utensils. Zachery Challis / Facebook

A GLADSTONE teen left the courthouse with a very strong message imprinted in his mind after the magistrate told him a conviction would stay on his criminal history for life.

Zachery John Challis pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of possession of dangerous drugs and another count of possession of drug utensils.

The court was told that at 12.10pm police attended a Tannum Sands residence to speak the occupants.

However, officers could see inside the house and on a table behind the occupants, spotted a handmade drug-smoking pipe and a clip-seal bag with cannabis inside.


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Challis admitted that the drugs and pipe were his.

Defence lawyer Rio Ramos asked the magistrate to not record a conviction against her 19-year-old client, given he wanted to travel.

But Magistrate Ho said she didn't accept that as a reasonable excuse, given the teen had already been given the benefit of not having a conviction recorded on a previous drug offence.

"On the 13th of February you were given the benefit of a drug diversion program and to your credit you went to that session," Ms Ho said to the defendant.

"But within a month of going you have re-offended."

Ms Ramos said since the most recent offending her client had not taken any drugs and is working towards his goal of being a mechanic.

She said recording a conviction could hinder his future employment prospects.

Ms Ho warned Challis that while she wouldn't record a conviction this time, it was likely the last time she would give him the benefit.

"You seem to think this is not serious ... Well let me tell you that it is," she said.

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"A drug conviction would certainly impede with any future employment opportunity.

"It will stay on your history until the day you die."

While a conviction was not recorded, Challis left the courthouse with a $300 fine to pay.

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