The man faced 24 charges, including wielding an axe in public. File photo.
The man faced 24 charges, including wielding an axe in public. File photo. Martin Cathrae

'Things took a terrible turn': Life of crime begins at 40

HE REACHED the age of 40 without ever having been in any trouble, but that all changed last September when his life spiralled out of control.

In a little more than two months he racked up 24 charges for assaulting police officers, domestic violence offences, wielding an weapon in public, stealing, burglary and drug possession.

Solicitor Ben Rynderman said it all began when the man, who could not be named to protect the identity of his victims, started using methamphetamine.

"His last significant relationship was very destructive and this is where things took a terrible turn," he said.

"His relationship dissolved immediately prior to this offending in 2016.

"His former partner introduced him to methamphetamine and things absolutely spiralled out of control from there."

Police prosecutor Vicki Kennedy-Grills said the escalation of his offences happened over a very short time, with stealing number plates and petrol, breaking into a home, punching a police officer in the face and possessing drugs and drug utensils.

Then on November 23 he was arrested and kept in custody after breaching a domestic violence order, wielding an axe in a public place and spitting on a police officer.

Acting Magistrate Andrew Walker said it was unusual to see a defendant before him with so many charges and no criminal history, but the devastating impact drug use caused was not.

"That's something that I hear all too often in these courts," he said.

"Methamphetamine certainly is a drug that causes great problems to society, causes people to react in ways they normally wouldn't react."

He sentenced the man, who had served nearly five months in custody already, to one year in prison, with immediate parole.

"Offences involving domestic violence or violence against police officers will not be tolerated," he said.

Mr Rynderman said his client's prospects for rehabilitation were profound.

"(He) seeks to address his ongoing issues of mental health and drug addition and return to the peaceful and calm life that he enjoyed for 40 years before this offending," he said.

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