Toowoomba Courthouse Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Toowoomba Courthouse Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

A case study in how to ruin a life: Barrister

MICHAEL Gregory Bethune was a walking example of how illicit drug use could wreck a person's life, his barrister has told a Toowoomba court.

"Mr Bethune is a case study in how drugs can ruin one's life," barrister Robbie Davies told Toowoomba Supreme Court.

After leaving school at 15, the now 27-year-old had immediately entered the work force and had a 100% employment record for 10 years, Mr Davies said.

However, after the break-down of a long-term relationship his client had taken to methylamphetamine of which he became a heavy user, he said.

A police search of a Toowoomba house where Bethune was with four other people on June 23, last year, had turned up 10g of methylamphetamine of which 7.681g was pure drug, Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court.

Bethune admitted ownership of the drug, telling police he had bought a large amount of drug the night before and had shared it with friends.

He pleaded guilty to possessing the drug.

Mr Davies said his client had entered drug rehabilitation in December but had left the facility to buy a packet of cigarettes and was not allowed back for one week which breached his bail conditions.

Bethune had served 191 days in custody.

Justice Martin Burns noted this offending had breached an intensive correction order and bail conditions of Bethune.

Taking into account the six months already served on remand, Justice Burns sentenced Bethune to 18 months in jail but ordered he be released on parole as of May 16 after he has served another three months.


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