Airlie dad taints Aussie icon by turning bottle into bong
A FATHER of two who tainted an Australian icon by turning a tomato sauce bottle into a bong been labelled a "petty criminal" by a magistrate.
Christopher Phillip Kerr fronted Proserpine Magistrates Court this week to plead guilty to eight offences, including possessing dangerous drugs, unlawful possession of a weapon and failing to provide a saliva specimen.
Magistrate James Morton told Kerr his first impression was the 41 year old was "sitting on the fringes of society".
The court heard the Airlie Beach man still held a learner's licence and had been before the court previously for fraud and drug-related matters.
For the latest charges, Kerr admitted to being caught in May with marijuana and a tomato sauce bottle that had been turned into a bong.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors told the court police searched an Airlie Beach property in May and found about 10.6g of marijuana, the makeshift bong, a glass pipe used to smoke ice and a telescopic baton.
Kerr admitted to owning the marijuana and using the bong to smoke it but claimed the baton had been left there by a mate, Sgt Myors said.
About two weeks later, Kerr was found driving without his learner plates displayed while two children were in the car, and then tested positive to a roadside drug test.
Sgt Myors said he then he failed to provide a sample for further testing when taken back to the police station.
The court heard Kerr was the next month found with a bowl containing marijuana and makeshift bong - this time made from an iced coffee bottle.
Lawyer Ali Ladd said Kerr had been a chef for 25 years but was out of work due to COVID-19.
He was "quite frank" with police about his drug use and the marijuana found was for personal use, Ms Ladd said.
"My client instructs me that he's now stopped using drugs following advice that it will cause more hurt," she said.
But Mr Morton said he didn't know whether Kerr would be able to give up that easily.
"You seem to be a petty criminal," Mr Morton said.
"People like you don't give up the drugs straight away; it's a long process.
"It's only until you're sent to jail and things get worse and mix with criminals and it goes on and on and on.
"I don't know whether I've seen the last of you, a bloke like you doesn't take the lesson too easily."
Kerr was fined a total of $1850 and disqualified from driving for seven months, with convictions recorded.
Mr Morton farewelled Kerr with the words: "You're a father of two young kids, keep off the bong."