$10,000 pokie win goes up in smoke
BUSTED with nearly 1.5kg of marijuana Nicholas Knight went before the District Court at Bundaberg and told how his big pokies win at a hotel enabled him to buy the drug in bulk.
Clutching a plastic Ice Break bottle in the dock, Knight, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous drug in excess of 500g on February 9, possession of an item used in connection with a drug offence and having drug utensils.
Crown prosecutor Carly Whelan said Knight was living in a shed at the family property when a police search found 450g of marijuana in three vacuum-sealed packages, an opened bag on a desk holding 26g and small amounts in clip-seal bags - in total weighing 1.478kg.
Ms Whelan said police found two Ice Break drink bottles - the kind Knight was holding in court - that he had modified into bongs, along with three grinders, ceramic and wooden bowls and a set of scales.
Defence barrister Jessica Horne said, although it was a large quantity, the drug was for Knight's personal use.
"He had a lucky night out on the pokies, winning over $10,000,” she said.
"He was able to purchase as it was from pokies winnings.
"It was more economical for him to buy in bulk as he was not working at the time.”
Ms Horne said Knight;s mother had been supporting him and he had been a regular marijuana user at the time but since being charged had significantly reduced his drug use.
When Judge Brendan Butler SC enquired what happened to the rest of the $10,000, Ms Horne said that Knight only received Legal Aid when his matter came before the District Court and had used some of the money to pay for previous legal representation.
Ms Horne said Knight had been an infantry soldier in the Australian Army for 15 months.
Afterwards, Knight worked in a slaughterhouse at Townsville where he began using methamphetamine, but he had stopped using it.
"You're 28 - no longer a youngster,” Judge Butler said.
"It's time you realise you need to stay out of trouble,” he said.
The best way is to get a job and keep your day busy.”
"I agree completely there, Your Honour,” Knight said.
He said he intended to work for his uncle and aunt on a farm at Gin Gin and his uncle would "smack me in the head if he catches me (using drugs)”.
Judge Butler said it had not been a good decision to spend his winnings on marijuana.
"You blew it,” he said before sentencing Knight to two years supervised probation.