Pic: Bev Lacey
Pic: Bev Lacey

Dad admits to shooting up meth before getting behind wheel

POLICE pulled over an ‘extremely fidgety’ dad and immediately detained him for a search after they saw his pinpoint pupils – with officers finding a haul of illegal items in the man’s possession.

The Chinchilla Magistrates Court heard Benjamin James Purves was pulled over by Chinchilla police on King St on August 21, when officers noticed his bloodshot glassy eyes and pinpoint pupils.

Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said Purves was driving on a demerit point suspended learners licence, and was observed to be extremely fidgety, and that his speech fluctuated between pitch, speed and tone, which resulted in officers detaining the dad for a search.

Senior constable Tahana said police found a slew of incriminating items on the 40-year-old and in his car, which included; two small bags of crystal methamphetamine in the coin pocket of his jeans, three knives, a needle and syringe, and a radar detection device.

“He stated he had injected methamphetamine,” she said.

“When asked, he said he was still affected by drugs and should not be driving.”

The radar detection device was in Purves pocket, senior constable Tahana said police informed him it was illegal as it interfered with police’s ability to detect speed.

“He gave no reason to be in possession of those knives, or that radar detection device,” she said.

Senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court Purves had a history of drug charges and driving unlicensed.

Purves pleaded guilty in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on December 3 to driving while under the influence of drugs, drug possession, knife possession, unlicensed driving, failure to dispose of a needle, and possessing a radar detection device.

Defence lawyer Jessica Hine said the father had worked full time for most of his life and recently fell back into drugs after the death of a family member.

“After these events he took time off work to sort himself out, he said he is now clean from drug use,” Ms Hine said.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop asked Ms Hine if she had any blood tests or clean urine to confirm Purves was clean - which she did not.

“He can tell you whatever he likes, but the Supreme Court has made it very clear that that submission shouldn’t be made,” Magistrate Mossop said.

Magistrate Mossop told the dad he wouldn’t do any honour to those who had passed away by relapsing.

“For the past five years, in essence, there was nothing (in your criminal history) until it seems you relapsed when dealing with death in your family,” she said.

“Whilst you are giving and struggling, if you stay true to what honours the memory of those who have passed, it’s not relapsing into drugs, particularly when you were working, particularly when you are a father.”

For the six charges, Magistrate Mossop sentenced Purves to the following penalties for each offence:

For drug possession, failing to dispose of a syringe, and possession of knives, an $800 fine.

For unlicensed driving, a $150 fine and disqualification from driving for one month.

For driving under the influence of drugs, an $800 fine and disqualification from driving for six months.

For being in possession of a radar device, a $450 fine.

A conviction was recorded for all offences except the drug driving as it was Purves first offence of that nature.