War veteran escapes penalty for possessing ice
A WAR veteran, who suffers a post traumatic stress disorder after military deployment in Afghanistan, has walked away from a Gladstone court without further penalty other than probation after pleading guilty to possession of the drug ice.
Tony John Landers, 36, was caught with the drug on July 31 last year after police stopped the gold coloured Commodore he was a passenger in.
It took many months for the drugs to be analysed and the former Australian Army soldier this week pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to possession of methylamphetamine.
Landers appeared before magistrate Jeffrey Clarke who showed some empathy about his health issues after medical documentation was provided to the court.
Police prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said a search by police officers that day found two clip-seal bags that held .55grams and .54 grams of ice.
"It was his ice and given to him by an associate who owed him money," Mr Pepito said.
Landers was released from jail in June on other matters and now on probation, he said.
You served your country and suffered significantly as a consequence. I have considered that
Mr Pepito said if the drug matter had been dealt with at the same time it was unlikely Landers would have received a greater penalty.
Mr Clarke told Landers he must ensure to continue with his probation and also be subjected to random drug tests to ensure he was not returning to illicit drug use.
"You served your country and suffered significantly as a consequence. I have considered that," Mr Clarke said.
The magistrate then referred to a recent decision made in the Appeals Court in which military personnel who had suffered in the cause of their service must have this considered.
"It is very unfortunate indeed. I hope you get back on your feet," he said.
Mr Clarke said a person having an association with ice is particularly destructive.
No conviction was recorded.
His 12-month supervised probation order will be concurrent with the 18-months probation he received some weeks ago for a series of driving offences.
The magistrate in those matters said Landers had an awful traffic history and disqualified him for four years.
The stresses and trauma of fighting in Afghanistan and not complying with his medication had been blamed for his offending.