Expectant father with cancer who sold drugs given parole
THE pregnant partner of a man who has cancer and was selling drugs cried loudly on Tuesday when a judge said he could go home instead of jail.
Benjamin Maxwell Robert Carter's addiction to drugs has seen him appear in numerous courts across south-east Queensland, including Caboolture Magistrate's Court, since 2009.
In the 27-year-old's latest appearance - before Brisbane District Court Judge Terry Martin - Carter pleaded guilty to seven charges related to supplying and possessing marijuana and ice.
Carter and his girlfriend - who will give birth in April - appeared relieved as Judge Martin said the defendant's ongoing battle with testicular cancer meant he would suffer more in prison than other inmates would.
The court heard Carter, who needs a cane to stand and walk, bought some ice and cannabis early last year to help him cope with debilitating pain from the ongoing impact of knee surgery.
Overwhelmed by money concerns including car payments and rental bonds, Carter decided to sell the portions of the drugs he did not need.
The drug sales happened in McDowell on February 11 and 13, but his plan came undone when police decided to search his car.
Not long after the drug bust, Carter was diagnosed with testicular cancer and one of his testicles was removed.
A few months ago he found out his remaining testicle had abnormalities suspected of being cancerous.
Queensland Corrective Services has facilities for patients to undergo chemotherapy, but Judge Martin said the defendant's early guilty plea, his street-level dealing and his health problems meant he could start his parole for an 18-month prison sentence straight away.
However, Judge Martin questioned where Carter was sorry for his crimes.
"I suspect you're remorseful because you have been caught," he said.
"Given your condition, your parole obligations will be onerous for you.
"Be aware that you will be drug tested and should you fail, you can expect to be incarcerated."
- APN NEWSDESK